The Carer Digital - Issue #38

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W W W. T H E C A R E R U K . C O M

The Carer Digital



Issue 38

PM Promises to Vaccinate All Care Home Residents by End of Month

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised every care home resident in the UK will be offered a coronavirus jab by the end of this month, as figures reveal that one in 10 residents in England has been given the vaccine. He also said that by Friday, January 15, the roll-out of the vaccine would be significantly increased, as he promised ‘hundreds of thousands of jabs a day’.

thanks to the arrival of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine which can be stored at room temperature that we can accelerate the pace of vaccination in care homes. "We are using that vaccine in care homes for the first time today and by the end of the month we hope to have offered every elderly care home resident a vaccine."

Speaking at a press conference the Prime Minister said the vaccine roll-out

He added that by the end of this week there will be over 1,000 GP led sites,

was ‘a national challenge on a scale like nothing we have seen before’, and the

223 hospital hubs, seven “giant vaccination centres” and a first wave of 200 com-

NHS and councils would work with the Army to organise it. Mr Johnson said 1.26million people had now been vaccinated in England, with 113,000 in Scotland, 49,000 in Wales and 46,000 in Northern Ireland. He said: "It’s

munity pharmacies administering vaccines to achieve their February 15 deadline for everyone in the top four vulnerable groups to have been offered a vaccine.



EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! “There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.” ROSALYN CARTER We are delighted here at THE CARER to have received and promoted the many stories around the country of residential and nursing care homes leading the way when it comes to vaccinations! The Prime Minister has pledged to vaccinate all care home residents by the end of January. A bold pledge, and one that I hope the Prime Minister can fulfil. The Prime Minister’s pledge has been met with concerns, and given past events, in particular releasing residents back into care environments and the debacle surrounding PPE these concerns are justified. Earlier this month former Cabinet minister Theresa Villiers raised concerns during Prime Minister’s question time that only 13 care homes in the north London borough of Barnet have received vaccinations. She asked: “Will the Prime Minister intervene to make sure the frail, elderly and their carers in Barnet get the vaccinations they need as soon as possible?' The Prime Minister replied: “I do want to see an accelerated rollout of vaccinations in care homes. So far, I believe that 10 per cent of care home residents and 14 per cent of care home staff have received the vaccine – but that clearly needs to be stepped up.” Independent Care Group Chairman Mike Padgham also expressed concern saying: “But we have had similar promises before and we pray the Government can deliver this time. We need a dose of realism. “If the government can deliver the vaccine to homes by the end of January, we want to see them do it swiftly. If they can’t then they must be honest and tell us a realistic timescale. There is no time to lose.” That said, the Prime Minister also noted that the government mass inoculation programme has meant nearly one quarter of over-80s had already received jabs and England had vaccinated more people 'than in the rest of Europe combined'. And one really does have to give credit where it is due. We continue to receive vaccination stories from homes all around the country, and the vaccination programme in those homes still have gone astonishingly well, so the Prime Minister may very well be on track to fulfil his pledge! One area of concern that has raised its head once again is staffing pressures. A report by the National Care Forum (NCF) has revealed that absenteeism due to individual servic-


Peter Adams

es impacted staff absences associated with high levels of community transmission of COVID 19 has reached alarming levels, with reports of individual services reporting between 11% and 40% staff absence and a few services reporting staffing absences of over 50%. The pressure on adult social care these past 11 months has been immeasurable and is clearly unsustainable. The sector has responded magnificently and some of the stories we have published these past 11 months have been truly inspiring, but the sector really is in danger if the government does not intercede, care homes and staff cannot do it all. I have seen media reports that the government is considering asking care homes to accept Covid patients to free up beds. We have not reported on it yet because it is what I can gather the speculation at the moment. I think this may send shockwaves the country given what happened last year. If these reports are true then it should, of course, be a matter for the individual care homes themselves, without any external pressure, and this is a story we hope to report on in further detail, but I suspect care environments, professionals, and families themselves would want strong reassurance and empirical evidence that Covid patients released back into care environments are no longer infectious. We would most certainly welcome any views you may have on this topic. We hope in the coming weeks to have some of the industry’s leading lights giving their opinions, and also advice on how this matter can be taken straight to the government! I would also take this opportunity once again to remind you to send your stories, thoughts and views, we are always delighted to include some wonderfully uplifting stories from care homes throughout the country so please do keep them coming, I can always be contacted at

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PM Promises to Vaccinate All Care Home Residents by End of Month (...CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) The Independent Care Group, said it is heartening that care homes are a high priority and have been promised the vaccine by the end of the month. Chairman Mike Padgham said: “But we have had similar promises before and we pray the Government can deliver this time. We need a dose of realism. “If the government can deliver the vaccine to homes by the end of January, we want to see them do it swiftly. “If they can’t then they must be honest and tell us a realistic timescale. There is no time to lose.” So far, Mr Padgham said, access to vaccination in North Yorkshire has so far been “patchy”, he said, including for homes which are Covid-free. He said: “I welcome the fact that care homes are still a priority, there is a way round vaccinating people in care homes and staff where there has been an outbreak. “But cohorting and getting routes through (for vaccination teams) is not going to be easy in smaller, non purpose-built homes.” Vic Rayner, chief executive of the National Care Forum, said: “The scale of the challenge set by government over the next month is significant. “It will rely on huge amounts of local communication and coordination

between care homes, GPs and local public health teams. “The response to the vaccine so far has been incredible, with residents and staff embracing it when available. “Everyone is seeing this as a way forward for this most vulnerable population and being able to mark it as ‘job done’ by the end of the month will literally be the booster that everyone across the country needs.” Age UK director Caroline Abrahams said: “Care homes have had a torrid time since the start of the pandemic and it is vital that vaccinations happen as quickly and efficiently as possible and that residents and the care staff get the protection they need.” The BMA has also made an urgent call for all health and social care workers to be vaccinated by the end of January and for those at greatest risk of contracting covid-19 to be vaccinated within two weeks. It said that this was essential, to protect an already depleted workforce and to help prevent the NHS becoming overwhelmed in the next three weeks. The government’s approach to vaccinating staff has been ad hoc and often chaotic, said the BMA. While some hospital trusts and general practices had been able to vaccinate reasonable numbers of staff, others had vaccinated only very few or none at all. The slow rollout of vaccination is leading to serious staff absences

because of either covid-19 infection or the need to quarantine or isolate, which is affecting patient care, said the BMA. It also backed calls for second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be offered as soon as possible, in line with World Health Organization guidance. The BMA’s chair of council, Chaand Nagpaul, said, “There are almost 27 000 patients with covid-19 being treated in hospitals in England—an increase of more than 50% since Christmas Day. Hospitals are becoming like war zones, and healthcare workers are the exhausted foot soldiers on the front line. GPs are similarly pushed to the limit, delivering an unprecedented mass vaccination programme in the community seven days a week. “All of these workers are at constant risk of becoming infected, yet they are, beyond all doubt, the most important cog in the covid-19 ‘care machine.’ If they fall ill with the virus and cannot work there will be reduced care, fewer vaccinations given, fewer medical procedures, and fewer patients getting better and going home from hospital, where they may then need GP care. They are also at huge risk and working often 18 hour days.” He called for assurances that the government could supply the 13 million vaccinations promised by mid-February and that health and care staff could book appointments to be vaccinated from next week. On 7 January NHS England sent a letter1 to trust chief executives, primary care networks, general practices, and people officers saying that they needed to vaccinate health and care workers, in line with the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation’s prioritisation. The letter said that, by mid-January, trusts would be established as “hospital hubs” responsible for vaccine delivery, with priority going to frontline staff who are “at high risk of acquiring infection, at high individual risk of developing serious disease, or at risk of transmitting infection to multiple vulnerable persons or other staff in a healthcare environment.”

West Bromwich Specialist Care Provider Transforms Summerhouse Into Covid-Secure Restaurant Residents at Westgate, a 24-hour support partnership with young people and adults with learning disabilities, mental health problems and physical disabilities, have enjoyed a meal in a pop-up restaurant in their garden. With the national lockdown limiting the activity of residents at the West Bromwich service, staff had to think outside of the box to deliver their usual activity. Before the difficulties of COVID-19, service users enjoyed going out for meals, so staff have come up with an innovative way for them to enjoy a gastronomic treat. Staff at the specialist care provider, which is owned and operated by Salutem Care and Education, transformed the summerhouse in the Westgate garden into a pop-up silver-service restaurant, serving a smorgasbord of yummy treats

to the residents. Chad McMahon, resident at Westgate, said: “The cabin restaurant was lovely, I really enjoy going out to eat a meal and to be able to replicate that under COVID-secure conditions made it even better.” Munish Kumar, manager at Westgate, said: “As we all know, the past year has been difficult with lockdowns and restrictions and we have had to be creative and think outside the box to make life as normal as possible for the people we support. Here at Westgate, we had been looking forward to a meal out, so our staff came up with the cabin restaurant. It was a wonderful idea and we all had an amazing time.”


Analysis Shows Workers in Healthcare Will Put In an Extra 21 Days of Work When Working from Home Health and social care organisations are gaining the equivalent of an extra 21 working days a year from employees putting in longer shifts when they work from home, according to new research from Atlas Cloud. The research reveals that by working from home during the Coronavirus pandemic, instead of commuting to an office, employees in the sector are saving an average of 82 minutes per day. Office workers say they are splitting this additional time between work and play by spending an average of 38 minutes extra on work per day and also gaining an additional 40 minutes per day leisure time. Under the new national lockdown, employees are only allowed to travel to work if it is “unreasonable” to do their job from home. Previously, the UK Government had advised all employees to work from home wherever possible. As the average month comprises 21 working days, businesses would on average gain almost an entire month’s worth of additional work per each employee that works from home between the first lockdown in March 2020, and March 2021. Meanwhile, by working from home, employees would gain back the equivalent hours of 25 days of annual leave – potentially doubling the minimum amount of annual leave (not counting bank holidays) staff are legally entitled to each year. Over eight in ten people in health and social care (86%) say they want the ability to work at least one day a week from home. However, crucially the survey shows that workers do not want to see the death of their office, pointing to a future of hybrid work after the pandemic crisis is over. Over three quarters (77%) of office workers in health and social care now want a return to the office in some form, although only 23% want to work from the office full-time. Fourteen percent say they want to work from home full-time. Almost two-thirds (62%) said that they would prefer hybrid-working – a blend of home, office, and remote work – after the pandemic. By implementing flexible, hybrid working policies (a mixture of office-based and remote working) when it is safe to do so, health and social care organisations would gain additional working hours, whilst providing employees with opportunities for much-needed opportunities for workplace social interaction. Half of respondents in the sector (52%) said they had used their additional leisure time to spend more time with family, with 49% saying they had used it to catch up on sleep, and 43% using it to do more exercise. The provision of remote working is also becoming increasingly important for organisations looking to recruit top talent. The ability to work remotely is also now a key consideration for 43% of job-seekers in the sector, a rise of nearly double since before the lockdown, when it was judged to be important by 23%. This shift in the priorities of the industry’s workforce means that many health and social care organisations now have to re-think their office-centric approach to work. Of those that didn’t work from home prior to lockdown, 49% said this was due to restrictive company policies.

Nine out of ten office workers in the sector (90%) said the coronavirus crisis has proven that they can work effectively from home. The increasing proportion of people who say they can now work effectively from home is being influenced by companies that invested in digital transformation during the pandemic. Two thirds of employees working for health and social care organisations (66%) said their companies invested in new or updated technology to help enable digital transformation since the start of lockdown. Pete Watson, CEO of Atlas Cloud, said: “Working from home can be a win-win for employers and employees as the lack of commuting gives people more time to spend working and more leisure time. “However, working only from home is isolating for the majority of people, and unsustainable in the long-term. People miss face-toface social interaction and for a significant number of people it is affecting their mental health. “It is incredibly heartening to see some companies in the health and social care industries already putting in place pioneering plans to give staff the flexibility to work from the office, home, or remotely from another location when the pandemic is over. This is a really encouraging step towards a better future for employees and businesses. “The pandemic has transformed the way we think about the workplace, but it is by no means the death of the traditional office – it is the birth of hybrid-working. “This research clearly demonstrates that the majority of people want to return to the office in some capacity after coronavirus, but more often than not this is to pursue a hybrid working model where they can work more flexibly. “Companies need to think about how to achieve this, particularly when it comes to implementing digital transformation, if they want to avoid being left behind as the country aims for a new phase of hybrid working. “Instead of enforcing strict policies to work from home or from the office, employers need to build agility and flexibility into their policies, enabling hybrid-working in order to boost efficiency, productivity, and employee satisfaction, as well as attracting and retaining the best talent. “One of the few bright spots of the coronavirus is that it has shown we can build a better way of working which will help to create better businesses, a better society and ultimately better lives for ourselves, our colleagues and our families. Companies should now be planning for post-pandemic changes in the way we work to avoid being left behind. We now have a golden opportunity to embrace flexible and agile hybrid-working to create a better work-life balance for millions of people.”

CQC Launches Strategy Consultation The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published a formal consultation on our new strategy. The draft is the product of over 10,000 interactions with stakeholders and sets a bold ambition for the organisation over the next five years. The CQC say that changes are needed We to the way they regulate so that it’s more relevant, working with health and care services to find solutions to problems and improve outcomes for everyone, , and to add flexibility to help manage risk and uncertainty. This strategy is built on four themes that together determine the changes they are making. Running through each theme is an ambition to improve people’s care by looking at how well health and care systems are working and how they’re acting to reduce inequalities. The four themes in the draft strategy are:

• People and communities: We want our regulation to be driven by people’s experiences and what they expect and need from health and care services. We’ll focus on what matters to the public, and to local communities, when they access, use, and move between services. • Smarter regulation: We want our assessments to be more flexible and dynamic. We’ll update ratings more often, so everybody has an up-to-date view of quality. Being smarter with data means our visits will be more targeted, with a sharper focus on what we need to look at. • Safety through learning: We want all services to have stronger safety cultures. We’ll expect learning and improvement to be the primary response to all safety concerns in all types of service. When safety doesn’t improve, and services don’t learn lessons, we’ll take action to protect people. • Accelerating improvement: We want to do more to make improvement happen. We’ll target the priority areas that need support the most. We want to see improvement within individual services, and in the way they work together as a system to make sure people get the care they need. You can read our full strategy in more detail here: The consultation will run for 8 weeks, closing on 4 March 2021.

Increased Exercise In Midlife Linked With Better Brain Health In Later Life Scientists in the US have found that the more physical activity people do in midlife the better their brain health in later life. The researchers looked at 1,604 volunteers taking part in an existing study, to see if there was a link between activity levels and brain health in later life. The volunteers reported how much exercise they did at the start of the study and again 25 years later. The research team categorised the amount of exercise the volunteers did at both times points as none, low, middle or high. The researchers carried out MRI brain scans in volunteers later in life to look for signs of poorer brain health including the presence of a type of brain damage known as cerebrovascular lesions and brain shrinkage. Scientists linked high levels of mid-life physical activity, over 150 minutes per week with better brain health in later life. This included fewer

cerebrovascular lesions in late life. Sara comments on morning sleep and dementia Dr Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “This research adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting exercise as an important way we can look after our brain health. Although the people in the study self-reported their own level of exercise, which could make it less accurate, high levels of mid-life physical activity were linked with fewer signs of brain damage. The observation that those who exercised more had less damage to the small blood vessels that spread through the brain suggest that physical activity may impact brain health largely through effects on the blood supply. “As the UK’s leading dementia research charity, Alzheimer’s Research UK is now funding work to see how feasible it is for people in midlife to take up exercise as part of a healthier lifestyle, with a view to larger tri-

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als that assess the effect on brain health. “Just a third of people think it’s possible to reduce their risk of developing dementia, compared to 77% who believe they can reduce their risk of heart disease. While there is no sure-fire risk way to prevent dementia, our brains don’t operate in isolation from the rest of our bodies and a good rule of thumb for everyone is that what is good for your heart is also good for your brain. “The best current evidence suggests that as well as staying physically and mentally active, eating a healthy balanced diet, not smoking, drinking only within the recommended limits and keeping weight, cholesterol and blood pressure in check are all good ways to support a healthy brain as we age.


Early Warning – Staffing Under Pressure In Social Care The National Care Forum (NCF) – the leading not-for-profit association for social care providers – have been working with their membership over recent days as it becomes ever more apparent that care providers across the country are finding individual services hit hard by staff absences associated with high levels of community transmission of COVID 19. In a snapshot survey carried out by the NCF, care providers shared what was happening on the ground in their most challenged service. The survey findings provides a clear and loud alarm for government to take note of just how hard COVID-19 is hitting on the frontline with services reporting:• Staffing pressure mounting with reports of individual services reporting between 11% and 40% staff absence and a few services reporting staffing absences of over 50%. • Absences were caused by a combination of COVID-19 positive case being picked up by PCR testing, self-isolation following contact tracing, shielding and childcare responsibilities. • Providers are under huge pressure and, in the very short- term, are having to run services through a combination of offering extra overtime to other staff, bringing in staff from other services and not accepting new referrals or admissions from hospital or the community. Where absences cannot be resolved in-house, care providers were using agency staff – however this is not a sustainable position and must be addressed before social care is overwhelmed.

Vic Rayner, Executive Director of the NCF says: “It is essential that government takes heed of this early warning signal that care services are under immense pressure. Staff in care services have been at the very front line of this battle against COVID-19 for over 11 months, and are shattered both physically and emotionally. In the midst of this, individuals and teams are stepping up once again to flex and cover large- scale staff absences brought about by a combination of testing, self-isolation, shielding and childcare. They are undoubtedly heroes, but asking them to do this over and again is not sustainable. “While the recent focus has been on the pressure being experienced by hospitals and the NHS, this is a red flag that pressure is mounting in the social care sector too. We must pay close attention to this as social care is integral to the overall system. If people cannot be supported to leave hospital, whether that is by moving into a care home or having care at home, then the whole system will fail. NHS saves lives – but so does social care – and it must be properly supported to ensure that it can play its vital role in making the whole system work for communities. “Action is needed now to ensure social care services can provide the care and support so desperately needed. Additional capacity needs to be resourced and built into care services to allow for full staffing to be available in the light of short-term absences of the nature that services are seeing during this period of exceptionally high community transmission. Vaccination for care workers must be delivered at pace, and we need prioritised turnaround of testing from care homes. Every day that we turn a blind eye to the challenges facing social care, our chances of addressing the equally pressing challenges in health care are diminished. The time for action is now. “

Little Weighton Care Home Residents Receive Best New Year Surprise All residents at The Manor House care home in Little Weighton have received the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, making them among the first in the world to receive the ground-breaking inoculation. Chris Mitchell, chairman of Park Lane Healthcare which operates The Manor House care home on White Gap Road, said: “The residents at The Manor House have received the best possible gift early this new year! “The vaccine gives us real hope, as we enter 2021, that there is light at the end of the tunnel and we can look forward to brighter times ahead.

“The loved ones of our residents and anyone considering joining us in their retirement years can be confident that those in care homes are at the front of the queue to receive the vaccine, which will be even easier now that the Oxford vaccine has been approved for widespread distribution.” On receiving the vaccine, Sue Bell, daughter of Gladys Leaf, aged 89, a resident at The Manor House, added: “We are absolutely delighted that mum had her first dose of the Oxford vaccine today. Thank you to the local GP service and also to Leanne and her wonderful team at The Manor House.”


Dysphagia Patients’ Emotional Health - How Can We Reduce The Stress Right Now? By Sumathi Sinnappan, dysphagia specialist and speech and language therapist. With three quarters of care home residents reported to suffer from dysphagia, these are worrying times. Not only are patients having to come to terms with their swallowing difficulties, they’re also hungry for information and in many cases, in need of urgent treatment. Yet compared to other conditions, readily accessible details, beyond a cursory internet search, remain relatively sparse. Left untreated, dysphagia can lead to possible malnutrition and that can also mean an increased chance of clinical depression. As a pandemic takes hold, some dysphagia patients may confuse their symptoms with a much more serious condition, leading to even more stress. People are understandably anxious faced with an overworked NHS that can’t see them or adds them to a monumental waiting list. Or, due to their age, they may feel they don’t want to make a fuss or a be burden. That’s on top of the demands of living with a condition that’s perceived as a decline in dignity, and for some, still a bit of a taboo. In my work with dysphagia patients, under normal circumstances, sessions are repeated between three and five times a week until swallowing patterns have improved and restored to a near normal or normal level. Sufferers see improvements in six to 20 daily sessions, sometimes, thanks to specialist VitalStim technology, in as little as three days. As a specialist in dysphagia since 2005, I’ve seen the massive difference the right help can bring, changing lives for the better, finding new joy for people who feared they may never swallow properly again. I’ve worked diligently with this advancing technology to improve things greatly. I’ve watched with pride as patients go on to enjoy a hearty meal without a feeding tube. I’m not the only one. Without the current pressures and national lockdown to contend with, there’s good

medical provision in place. But as an independent consultant specialising in dysphagia and acquired neurological conditions, I fear for the effect of the pandemic and lockdown on patients’ emotional health. Would you want to spend this time concerned by a declining ability to communicate? Was there ever a worse era for this to happen? My heart goes out to patients who’ve been unable to access the help they undoubtedly need. ‘Nobody is listening to me, my family don’t want to know,’ one patient confided. Who could blame them? Bafflingly, for the general public at least, the term dysphagia and its symptoms are not as widely known as they could be. This also adds to uncertainty and fear from a newly-identified sufferer or for all of those in the limbo of waiting a diagnosis and appropriate rehabilitation therapy, monitoring of patients, or intervention. The fact that swallowing difficulties have also been identified as potential signs of Covid-19 is even more frightening for people of an advancing age or with other underlying health conditions. Being confined to lockdown and not being able to see loved-ones is bad enough, or being hit by bereavement.

HOW CAN WE HELP? Awareness and peace of mind: Patients need to feel listened to and access reliable information about the severity of their dysphagia. I’d advise limiting online research and self-diagnosing or ‘doom scrolling’ Stick to trusted sites such as the NHS or find support groups online. Identifying those most at risk: Older adults are undoubtedly more at risk due to an ageing body. Certain diseases of old age can cause dysphagia. Up to half of stroke patients are reported to develop some degree of dysphagia. A fifth of vascular dementia patients experience dysphagia. This suggests that around 37,000 people suffer dysphagia due to vascular and mixed dementia in the UK. Patients with degenerative central nervous system disease often develop some degree of dysphagia. Dysphagia also commonly occurs following radiation therapy for head and neck cancer, traumatic head or spinal cord injury, tracheotomy, burns and meningitis. It is also common in people with congenital or degenerative neurological diseases, such as

Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Knowing the signs The NHS says: Some people with dysphagia have problems swallowing some foods or liquids, while others can't swallow at all. Other signs of dysphagia include: • Coughing or choking when eating or drinking • Bringing food back up, maybe through the nose • Sensation that food is stuck in throat or chest • Continuous drooling • Inability to chew • 'Gurgly' wet sounding voice when eating or drinking • Weight loss • Repeated chest infections • Breathing difficulties These can also be signs of aspiration pneumonia which occurs when food, saliva, liquids, or vomit are breathed into the lungs or airways, instead of being swallowed into the oesophagus and stomach.

Urgent medical attention is needed. This can also lead to malnutrition which has additional symptoms of: • Reduced appetite • Lack of interest in food and drink • Feeling tired all the time • Feeling weak • Getting ill more often, and taking longer to recover • Depression or low mood • Sensitivity to cold temperatures • Poor concentration • Wounds take longer to heal The following are recommended: • Changing consistency of food and liquids to make them safer to swallow – there are seven levels of how solid foods and liquid should be, formulated by the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI). • Other forms of feeding – such as tube feeding through the nose or stomach • Surgery to widen the oesophagus, by stretching it or inserting a plastic or metal tube (stent)

Nutritional requirements and adjusting texture It can be difficult to meet your body’s need for good nutrition when you have swallowing difficulties. It may take longer for you to finish a meal and sometimes soft meals. Food becomes less appealing with

no appetite. If you have been sick, it’s particularly important to make sure that you eat and drink enough every day. This is important to help prevent unnecessary weight loss and to help regain any weight you may have lost already. Hydration is another important factor.

SOME GOOD ADVICE: • Try adding extra calories and protein to meals to make them as nourishing as possible. A nutritionist can give the right advice based on the patient’s condition. • You may be recommended to take oral nutritional supplements. These are high in calories, protein and other important nutrients and can help you meet your nutritional requirements.

Treatment may include: • • • • •

Oral exercises to improve swallow muscles. Medicine Changing texture and consistency of food Dilation Surgery.

I help patients by: • Teaching exercises to improve swallowing ability • Training how to eat and drink in a safer and more comfortable way. • Showing how to make foods and liquids easier to swallow. • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation to the oral and pharyngeal muscles to re-educate and strengthen the swallow muscles.

TIPS FOR PATIENT MANAGEMENT AND TRAINING: Posture: Sitting upright when eating or drinking is key. If that’s not possible, adjusting their back or helping them hold their head up when eating and drinking is important. Eating: To avoid the exhaustion a normal length mealtime may bring; I’d advise eating little and often throughout the day. We may not be able to wipe out all the frightening emotions sparked by dysphagia right now, but a knowledgeable and empathetic approach will help soothe understandable fears. A listening ear and a supportive caring presence go a long way. Let’s be there for each other, even if we have to be physically distant. Read more about the IDDS here:


Integrating Health with Social Care Care England has submitted its response to the NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) consultation on integrated care systems. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “Adult social care is essential to the fabric of society, this has been seen in technicolour over the incredibly difficult past months so it is disappointing that NHSEI has failed to recognise the strategic relationship between health and social care providers in its future planning for integrated care”. On 26 November 2020, NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) published Integrating care: Next steps to building strong and effective integrated care systems which sets out the policy proposals for the future of integrated care systems (ICSs) in England, as well as outlining two proposals for how ICSs are to become legislation by April 2022, subject

to governmental approval. NHSEI were consulting on two possible options for enshrining ICSs in legislation. Whilst Care England supports the direction of the policy as it emphasises the need for a greater degree of collaboration and integration across the health and social care system, this integration must include a place for independent adult social care sector providers. These providers form the foundations of good community care services and care for some of society’s most vulnerable. Martin Green continues: “As such an important part of the jigsaw, adult social care should not be fighting its case, rather NHS England should be focusing on a vision for the future incorporating a workforce plan and fairer funding to providers including Continuing Healthcare”.

Thornton-Le-Dale Care Home Invites Community To Yarn Bomb For Britain In Bloom

Staff and residents at The Hall Residential Care Home, in Thornton-le-Dale, are undertaking a project to yarn bomb the outside of the home as part of the village’s North Yorkshire Britain in Bloom entry. For the competition, staff and residents at The Hall want to make sure that their home is as decorative and colourful as possible. To bring the Thornton-le-Dale community together, the home is inviting local people to get involved while the country is in lockdown.

Yarn bombing is a form of temporary street art that uses crocheted or knitted yarn to decorate buildings, benches, lampposts and fences. The care home is planning to make use of the form of street art to decorate the outside of their building with wool flowers and pollinators in time for Easter weekend this April. Christina Stone, resident at The Hall, said “I’m very excited to be a part of the Britain in Bloom competition entry, I love gardening and find knitting very relaxing and can’t wait to see what the yarn bombing will look like.” Nicky Beach, manager at The Hall, said: “We wanted to do something fun and creative to keep our residents and the local community connected, and this yarn bombing is the perfect opportunity. “Yarn bombing the outside of The Hall with wool flowers and knitted images will hopefully bring the community together and we are excited to see the yarn art that members of our community produce. “Whether you knit flowers, create wool pictures, French knit, or make rug mats, anything to help decorate would be appreciated!”

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Planning for a More Cyber-Secure 2021: How to Protect Sensitive Data and IT Systems By Andrew Kays, Chief Operating Officer, Socura It’s been a challenging year for the care sector. But cybercriminals are not known for their compassion. As more businesses look to technology systems to improve resident care and trim costs in 2021, they may unwittingly expose themselves to an increased risk of cyberattacks, which could seriously impact the bottom line. Fortunately, with a few best practice steps, nursing and care home businesses can do a great deal to keep such threats at bay.

PROS AND CONS There has been an understandable drive to improve sharing of resident information throughout the health and care sector of late. Seamless access to such data through online systems can help with personalised care planning, transfers of care, and even things like checking and dispensing medication. It all adds up to a better service for the residents and more productive staff. But using internet-facing systems also increases the risk of cyberthieves getting hold of that data, which can then be sold on to scammers to commit identity fraud. Another emerging risk is ransomware, where a criminal gang may first steal sensitive data before locking you out of your IT systems until a ransom is paid. Such threats aren’t just aimed directly at care home providers—you could also be exposed via any service providers you use. In one 2019 ransomware attack in the US,

110 nursing homes were cut off from accessing resident health records after the IT service provider they shared was hit.

THREATS ARE GROWING The UK government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2020 reveals that nearly half (46%) of businesses reported a breach or attack over the previous 12 months. Of these, 86% said it involved phishing—where email recipients are targeted with spoofed messages designed to trick them into divulging log-ins or installing malware. The impact of such attacks can be significant: care and nursing homes not only have to spend time and money to recover from incidents. If the incident is serious, they may even suffer reputational damage that impacts business. According to that government report, one in five (19%) businesses that have suffered an incident experienced a “material outcome” leading to loss of money or data. Two-fifths (39%) said they were “negatively impacted”—in other words they were forced to put in place new security measures, divert staff time, or suffered wider business disruption.

A SAFER 2021 Attackers are targeting care homes because of the large amount of sensitive resident data they store, and the fact that businesses in the sector are perceived to have less to spend on cyber-defences. High staff turnover can also make it difficult to create a security-first culture. Fortunately, there are government-approved best practices that will help a great deal in mitigating cyber risk. Important measures to consider are: staff training in cyber awareness; anti-malware from a reputable provider on all PCs, devices and servers; frequent data back-ups; firewalls; and updating all your operating systems and software so they’re always on the latest versions. The UK government-backed Cyber

Essentials scheme is a great place to start and should be part of every organisation’s cyber security planning. Enabling Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is also a key fundamental step to ensure any user who logs in to your online accounts is who they say they are. Enhance this with a best practice “least privilege” access policy, where users are only allowed to access the information they need to do their job and no more—i.e., during vaccinations, a nurse may not need to access all patient data, only the relevant details to administer the jab. This will all help to reduce your cyber risk exposure. There are also measures recommended by GDPR regulator the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), as are data pseudonymisation and encryption to protect sensitive data in the event it is stolen. The ICO also demands that organisations perform Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIA) to ensure any data processing that is potentially high risk has the appropriate safeguards in place. A DPIA is great way to understand your risk and what measures you have in place to mitigate this risk, giving you the confidence you are doing the right thing. More advanced still, consider penetration testing to spot any unseen vulnerabilities in your IT environment, and real-time monitoring of network traffic to detect suspicious activity. Third-party providers can be helpful here as they have accrued all the necessary expertise in-house, so you don’t have to. A large amount of this activity can be automated, but human analysis is essential to provide extra context and intelligence. Managed detection and response (MDR) is increasingly being adopted by health and care organisations of all sizes as it provides 24/7 threat detection and response, rapid response to mitigate cyber risk early on, and acts as an extension of your security team. For more information, visit

Landmark Reform of Mental Health Laws Major reform of Mental Health Act will empower individuals to have more control over their treatment and deliver on a key manifesto commitment. Reforms will deliver parity between mental and physical health services and put patients’ views at the centre of their care. Plan will tackle mental health inequalities including disproportionate detention of people from BAME communities, the use of the Act to detain people with learning disabilities and autism, and improve care for patients

within the criminal justice system. People with mental health issues who are detained under the Mental Health Act will benefit from landmark reforms which provide more control over their care and treatment, the government has announced today. A package of reforms has been set out in a wide-ranging new Reforming the Mental Health Act White Paper, which builds on the recommendations made by Sir Simon Wessely’s Independent Review of the Mental Health Act in 2018. At the heart of the proposed reforms to the Mental Health Act is greater choice and autonomy for patients in a mental health crisis, ensuring the Act’s powers are used in the least restrictive way, that patients receive the care they need to help them recover’ and all patients are viewed and treated as individuals. These reforms aim to tackle the racial disparities in mental health services, better meet the needs of people with learning disabilities and autism and ensure appropriate care for people with serious mental illness within the criminal justice system. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I want to ensure our health service works for all, yet The Mental Health Act is now 40 years old. We need to bring mental health laws into the 21st century. Reforming the mental health Act is one of our central manifesto commitments, so the law helps get the best possible care to everyone who needs it. “These reforms will rightly see people not just as patients, but as individuals, with rights, preferences, and expertise, who are able to rely on a system which supports them and only intervenes proportionately, and which has their health and wellbeing as its centre. “This is a significant moment in how we support those with serious mental health issues, which will give people more autonomy over their care and will tackle disparities for all who access services, in particular for people from minority ethnic backgrounds.” The government will consult on a number of proposed changes, including: Introducing statutory ‘Advance Choice Documents’ to enable people to express their wishes and preferences on their care when they are well,

before the need arises for them to go into hospital; Implementing the right for an individual to choose a ‘Nominated Person’ who is best placed to look after their interests under the Act if they aren’t able to do so themselves; Expanding the role of ‘Independent Mental Health Advocates’ to offer a greater level of support and representation to every patient detained under the Act; Piloting culturally appropriate advocates so patients from all ethnic backgrounds can be better supported to voice their individual needs; Ensuring mental illness is the reason for detention under the Act, and that neither autism nor a learning disability are grounds for detention for treatment of themselves; Improving access to community-based mental health support, including crisis care, to prevent avoidable detentions under the Act. This is already underway backed by £2.3bn a year as part of the NHS Long Term Plan. The White Paper sets out the path towards the Government’s commitment to introduce the first new Mental Health Bill for 30 years, and end the stigma of mental illness once and for all. Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Nadine Dorries, said: “I am committed to improving people’s experience under the Mental Health Act, and most importantly to making sure their care and treatment works for them. “We know people are too often disempowered and excluded from decisions, which is where the Act, and our ability to successfully support people often fails. “Informed by Sir Simon’s recommendations, we will transform the Act to put patients at the centre of decisions about their own care.” Decisive action will be taken to help tackle the disproportionate number of people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities detained under the Mental Health Act. Black people are over four times more likely to be detained under the Act and over ten times more likely to be subject to a Community Treatment Order. A national organisational competency framework for NHS Mental Health Trusts will be introduced, referred as the ‘Patient and Carers Race Equality Framework’ (PCREF). The PCREF will be a practical tool which enables Mental Health Trusts to understand what steps it needs to take to improve Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities’ mental health outcomes. Improved culturally appropriate advocacy services will be piloted where needed, so people from BAME backgrounds can be better supported by people who understand their needs. The reforms will also change the way people with a learning disability and autistic people are treated in law by recognising a mental health inpatient setting is often not the best place to meet their specific needs. The proposal sets out that neither learning disability nor autism should be considered a mental disorder for which someone can be detained for treatment under Section 3 of the Act. Instead, people with a learning disability or autistic people could only be detained for treatment if a co-occurring mental health condition is identified by clinicians.

Significant investment in community support has led to a 29% reduction since 2015 in the number of people with a learning disability and autistic people in a mental health inpatient setting. The government has established the £62m Community Discharge Grant to make further progress on discharging people with learning disabilities and autism from inpatient care. The proposed changes in the legislation will help to further reduce reliance on inpatient care. The White Paper also takes steps to ensure parity between mental health and physical health services. The government is already investing over £400 million to eradicate dormitories in mental health facilities as part of its response to Sir Simon’s recommendations and its commitment to level up access to mental health services and rebuild better than before, so people admitted to hospital can receive care in a modern and genuinely therapeutic environment. High impact changes are already under way – including vital capital spend on the mental health estate, and work to pilot and develop the Patient and Carer Race Equality Framework. For changes which require legislation, consultations will continue until early spring 2021 to listen to the concerns people have, and a draft Mental Health Bill will be shared next year. The benefits of reform will also be felt by people with serious mental illness within the criminal justice system. A 28-day time limit is being proposed to speed up the transfer of prisoners to hospital, ending unnecessary delays and ensuring they get the right treatment at the right time. Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland said: “Prisons should be places where offenders are punished and rehabilitated, not a holding pen for people whose primary issue is their mental health. “Keeping people safe must be at the heart of everything this Government does, and the reforms announced today will allow us to do this while ensuring offenders still get the treatment their conditions require.” The Government also commits to ending the outdated practice of using prisons as ‘places of safety’ for defendants with acute mental illness. Instead, judges will work with medical professionals to ensure defendants can always be taken directly to a healthcare setting from court. Victims of all mentally disordered offenders will now have the option of being assigned a dedicated Victim Liaison Officer to keep them informed of key developments in the offender’s case, including when the patient is discharged. Claire Murdoch, Mental Health Director for NHS England, said: “The proposed reforms are a welcome step towards ensuring that people with mental health needs, a learning disability or autism, remain at the centre of decisions about their care, and that longstanding inequalities in experience and outcomes are addressed. “The NHS is delivering a package of important measures set out in our NHS Long Term Plan to transform mental health, learning disability and autism services, which will ensure everyone can access the right treatment for their needs, when they need it most, which will improve lives and help to implement the Mental Health Act reforms effectively.”


New TV Ad Urges Public To Stay At Home To Protect The NHS And Save Lives Everyone in England is being urged to stay at home and “act like you’ve got it” as part of a major advertising campaign encouraging the public to control the spread of the virus and protect the NHS and save lives. Around 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 don’t have any symptoms and can pass it on without realising, which is why it’s essential everyone stays at home and remembers Hands, Face, Space. ‘Stay at home, save lives’ will run across TV, radio, out of home advertising and on social media, and will include a new advert fronted by the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty. The campaign recognises the overwhelming pressure facing the NHS and urges people to stay at home. It comes as current data shows COVID-19 cases and deaths are at an all-time high and NHS hospitals and staff are under huge pressure, with some hospitals in the South East at extreme capacity. On 1 September, there were under 500 COVID-19 inpatients in hospitals in England. On 1 November this increased to approximately 9,000. On Christmas Day, it was just below the last peak at 17,701 and on 7 January there were 28,246 – that is an increase of more than 11,000 in under two weeks. Today’s stark data (8 January) shows the UK recorded 68,053 new coronavirus cases – the highest daily total of the pandemic so far, as well as the highest ever daily COVID-19 deaths with 1,325 fatalities. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Our hospitals are under more pressure than at any other time since the start of the pandemic, and infection rates across the entire country continue to soar at an alarming rate. “The vaccine has given us renewed hope in our fight against the virus

but we must not be complacent. The NHS is under severe strain and we must take action to protect it, both so our doctors and nurses can continue to save lives and so they can vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as we can. “I know the last year has taken its toll – but your compliance is now more vital than ever. So once again, I must urge everyone to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.” Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said: “Our NHS is facing a huge challenge – it is under immense pressure and it’s imperative now more than ever we all play our part. “I know how much we have all sacrificed already, but the new variant has significantly changed the current landscape and we absolutely cannot let up now. “There is light at the end of the tunnel – the vaccine will provide a way out of this and over 1.5 million people across the UK have now

been vaccinated. “Every day we are closer to beating this virus, but right now, we need to pull together for one final push and I’m urging you to continue to do your bit by staying at home to save lives and protect the NHS.” Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said: “Covid-19, especially the new variant, is spreading quickly across the country. This puts many people at risk of serious disease and is placing a lot of pressure on our NHS. “Once more, we must all stay at home. If it’s essential to go out, remember: wash your hands, cover your face indoors and keep your distance from others. “Vaccines give clear hope for the future, but for now we must all stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.” The adverts remind the public the new Covid-19 variant is spreading fast. Around 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 don’t have any symptoms, but can still pass it on, putting people at risk and a renewed pressure on our NHS. It reiterates everyone must stay at home. If it’s essential to go out, it reminds people to wash their hands, cover their face and make space. In the meantime, NHS Test and Trace is successfully reaching more people than ever before, with 96.8% of contacts reached within 24 hours and more than five million people being reached in total. As of 30 December, more than 54 million tests have been processed in the UK in total since testing began – more than any other comparable European country. Over 1.5 million people across the UK have now been vaccinated – more than the whole of Europe. But the Government is urging people to continue to do their bit and further prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Life Lessons From 100 Year Old Teacher A much-loved woman living in Bearsden has celebrated her 100th birthday. Centenarian Marjorie Ada Chahin, better known as Margot, celebrated her 100th birthday at Antonine House Care Home. A former teacher, Margot’s lessons haven’t stopped yet as she shares some life wisdom which has never been more important: “Always find the positives in life and think about others before yourself.” Now living in Antonine House care home, part of the Meallmore group, Margot turned 100 on 10 December 2020. On her milestone birthday Margot was

spoilt by her family with banners and a photo album of her life. Cards from wellwishers were also received, including one from the Queen. To make her birthday as special as possible, staff at Antonine House arranged for their chefs to bake Margot a total of three cakes to spell out ‘100’. Amanda King, care home manager said: “It was a privilege to celebrate such a milestone birthday with Margot. Our residents and staff had a wonderful time celebrating, and it was great to see the joy on Margot’s face. It was a really special day.”

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Two Fifths (42%) Of Over 65s Have Been Unable To Access The Care They Needed During The Pandemic By Nick Sanderson, CEO Audley Group ( Care workers and those within the NHS have worked tirelessly throughout 2020. But the increased pressure during the pandemic has meant that people across all age groups have had more difficulty booking GP appointments, seeing a medical professional or accessing care services. With a new national lockdown announced this week many will be worried about the overstretched health services and the impact this will have on the care of themselves and their loved ones. Audley Group, the retirement living provider, has conducted research that has found that during the pandemic two fifths (42%) of over 65s have been unable to access the care they needed during the pandemic. Please see below further findings and comment from Nick Sanderson, CEO of Audley Group: Of the over 65s who have been unable to access the care, 12% of those said it has been incredibly difficult For those over 65 who struggled to access care, 40% said they just had to bear with it Over a tenth (11%) of over 65s, a friend or family stepped in to provide support during this time. Covid-19 has led many people to think about how financially prepared they are for

later life. A fifth (17%) of over 65s say they are not financially prepared to cover care costs for themselves or their loved ones. Across all age groups, 20% said that they are not at all prepared for future care costs. Nick Sanderson, CEO of Audley Group, commented: “The challenges of the past year have prompted many of us to think about how important access to care facilities is in our later lives. There’s no clearer indicator of their value than during a global pandemic, when health services are strained, and our health is compromised. And we owe a debt of gratitude to all those who have worked so hard this year in the face of overwhelming pressure. “Not only is access to care extremely important as we get older, but so is support in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and general wellbeing, especially when times are tough. Having this support as we age will lessen the need for intervention later in life. That’s why, as a country, we need to provide more specialist housing options that enable people to access care and everyday health support, while taking some of the pressure off our health services. The Government need to make this a priority, so that nobody has to ‘just bear’ having no access to the support that they need.”

Covid: Life On The Frontline: Virus Ordeal Left Sick Mum Fearing For Her Life

A Care Home Administrator and mum-of-two has revealed how she thought Covid would kill her after contracting the virus and falling seriously ill during the first outbreak.

Lindsay Hood, from Banstead, Surrey, said that at its worst, she was afraid to sleep for fear of not waking up again. She was speaking to Royal Star & Garter as part of the charity’s Covid: Life on the frontline series, which is capturing the accounts of the charity’s staff and residents during the pandemic. Also featured in the latest Life on the frontline series is 102-year-old Ena Mitchell, a resident at the charity’s High Wycombe Home, and Suzie Bignall, a Health Care Assistant at the same Home. Lindsay, Home Administrator at the charity’s Surbiton Home, described Covid as “being hit by a bus”. She was bed-bound and in immense pain for over four weeks, and the 49-year-old said: “I got really scared. I was terrified of going to sleep because I didn’t think I would wake up.” When the ambulance crew turned up at her home in full PPE to take her to hospital, she said: “I honestly didn’t know if I was going to go home again.” Looking back at her ordeal, she said: “I was convinced I was going to die. My husband Steve and I had awful con-

versations about what would happen.” Lindsay would later develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as she dealt with the psychological impact of the virus. In High Wycombe, Ena praised the Home’s staff, saying they “couldn’t have done more if they tried”, and said she had no concerns for her own life: “I’ve never worried because I think I’ve had a jolly good life and I’ve got everything to be thankful for… Maybe it’s my upbringing because my mother used to say ‘Whatever’s planned out for you usually happens.’ So I don’t worry.” Suzie spoke of her initial fears and bursting into tears when the daunting realisation of the pandemic hit her. But she said the situation had brought staff closer together, and improved the care they provide. She also said her colleagues ensured her 50th birthday wasn’t forgotten when they threw a surprise party: “We danced and had cake. They made it special, because even though I wasn’t able to spend it with my family, I got to spend it with my other family!”

NACC National Seminar (Virtual) – Menu Planning for Special Diets in Care Homes Date: Thursday 28th January 2021 Time: 2:00pm – 4:00pm The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) is hosting a Virtual Seminar which is FREE to attend and all members and non-members of the NACC are welcome to attend. NACC are offering all those who register and attend 50% OFF the NACC’s Menu Planning & Dining in Care Homes Publication. The seminar is sponsored by RATIONAL UK and hosted by Darryl Catley, NACC South West Regional Chair and Richard Brooks, NACC South West Deputy Chair. We have an incredible line up of speakers for this seminar with topics including vegetarian and vegan diets, diabetes in care homes, best practice

for gluten free diets and what tools are available, hydration and much more. Our speakers include: Sand Thomassen, Sales Director, Scotland, Head of Healthcare and Hospitals, RATIONAL UK Ltd Helen Simpson, Support Dietitian, NHS North Hampshire Annemarie Aburrow, Consultant Dietitian, Wessex Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) Emily Hampton, Head of Food Policy, Coeliac UK Gary Kilminster & Robin Dudley, Essential Cuisine Alex Connell, Roving Chef, Vegetarian for Life For further information visit:

Case Study: How Visioncall Saved Jean’s Sight, And Turned Her Life Around “Your sight is precious, isn’t it?” These are the words of Jean*, an 85-year-old care home resident who underwent lifechanging cataract surgery in 2019, following diagnosis from Visioncall, a leading eye healthcare provider to the care home sector. Formerly almost completely blind, Jean’s carers say that she is now “a whole new woman” since her treatment. Jean came to Cherry Lodge in Birmingham in October 2018, after a fire in her home. She’d been living alone since her husband passed away several years before, and according to carers, was in ‘a state of serious self-neglect’. In those early months at Cherry Lodge, Jean required 24-hour one-to-one assistance, because of her sight issues. “When Jean first came here, she couldn’t see at all,” explains Lauren Kavanagh, Jean’s carer at Cherry Lodge. “She couldn’t see shadows; she couldn’t see if you placed your hand in front of her face – she just couldn’t see a thing. She was very timid and withdrawn. She would be very wary, shouting out to see if someone was there; sometimes, she’d stand up from her chair and start shouting for help, that she couldn’t see.” It was particularly sad for Jean to lose her sight, as she’d been an avid reader, with a particular love of crime stories. “Jean told me that she used to meet her sister in Birmingham city centre every Thursday,

and that they’d go to the library together,” says Lauren. “But that all stopped when her sister died. She sometimes says that she thinks her eyesight went downhill because she read too much.” After her arrival at Cherry Lodge, Jean was diagnosed with dementia, which made things more complicated: “Jean would insist that she could see,” explains Lauren. “When her dementia was at its worst, she would say things like ‘I’m not blind – I don’t know what you’re talking about, I can see everything’. She was in complete denial.” Carers were concerned about Jean’s sight, so they asked Visioncall to visit Jean and make a professional diagnosis. Vic Khurana, Visioncall’s lead optometrist, diagnosed Jean with bilateral cataracts and inflamed eyelids, and referred her to her GP and SpaMedica, a specialist eye hospital in Birmingham. Within a week, Jean had an appointment for cataract surgery. “The surgery was amazing – out of this world,” says Lauren. “I was allowed to be in the operating room with Jean, because of her dementia, and I watched the whole surgery. When it was done, the surgeon asked me to stand beside her, and I said ‘hello’ to her. Jean looked at me, straight in my eyes, and asked how I was! She could see me straightaway.” The changes didn’t stop there, according to Lauren. “I remember coming home with her that day, and she didn’t hold my hand – she got out of the car and walked into the building on her own. This was only one eye that had been treated at this stage, and she’d never seen the

building before, she didn’t know where her room was, but she walked straight in. She immediately began using the bathroom on her own and eating her food by herself – we didn’t need to help her with anything. She got her independence back that day, and it was lifechanging – for Jean, of course, but also for the staff.” Lauren is adamant that it was Cherry Lodge’s partnership with Visioncall that turned Jean’s life around, saying: “I think if Jean had been here at Cherry Lodge sooner, her eyesight and her independence would never have been so badly affected, because Visioncall would have been there to help her before it got to that stage. Visioncall is brilliant; they understand the needs of a care home, the needs of residents, the needs of people with dementia, which is amazing. It’s such a good service.” These days, Jean is very much enjoying her new lease of life at Cherry Lodge. “She’s got a 42-inch TV in her room!”, laughs Lauren. “She watches TV every day, and she reads again too, which is lovely. She enjoys her food again, and she’s much more sociable now, having conversations with everyone. Jean still has some struggles with her dementia, and some days she won’t remember a time when she couldn’t see, but it’s sometimes just nice to sit back and observe her in the communal areas, and remember how far she’s come.” “I honestly think that this experience will be something that I will remember for the rest of my life,” Lauren says. “I’ve never seen such a turnaround on somebody before, how something so small can make such a difference. It helped Jean so much, it has changed her whole life.” To find out more about Visioncall, please visit: *Name has been changed to protect privacy.


Maria Mallaband Nurse Wins ‘Healthcare Hero Award’ For Pandemic Support A specialist nurse consultant who played a key role in supporting and guiding her colleagues across the Maria Mallaband Countrywide Group (MMCG) throughout COVID-19 has been recognised with a Healthcare Hero Award Anna Masheter, who stepped up into the role of MMCG COVID-19 lead this year, alongside her existing responsibilities, has received the award in the inaugural Healthcare Heroes Awards, launched by global property adviser Knight Frank LLP. The new awards recognise outstanding people within the social care sector. Anna was nominated for her leadership and compassion throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and for her work ensuring those living and working in MMCG care homes were kept safe and secure, connected, and supported throughout the challenges of the past year.

Spokesperson from Maria Mallaband said: “Anna is well known for her ability to share her experience and knowledge to support others’ progress in their careers, and for her total commitment to ensuring her colleagues across MMCG are trained and competent to continue to deliver the exceptional, life-enhancing care they do. “Those core values have been paramount in the Covid19 pandemic when Anna took on the responsibility of being the MMCG Covid-19 Lead, advising and supporting the care homes through the ever-changing landscape we all find ourselves in. She has been instrumental in ensuring people working and living in our care environments have been safe and supported. “MMCG are incredibly lucky and so proud to have Anna as part of the amazing and dedicated staff team, and we are thrilled that her outstanding efforts and contribution have been recognised with this new award.” Anna Masheter, who has worked with MMCG since August 2010 holding the positions of Nurse, Deputy Manager, Home Manager, Clinical Development Nurse, and most recently the role of the company’s

Specialist Nurse Consultant, said: “Having been part of the MMCG family for a decade now, I already knew how dedicated, passionate and hard-working my colleagues are – but to see how they have risen to the many challenges they have faced over the last ten months, with such compassion, creativity, and resilience, has been humbling. “I am so proud to be able to work with and support them, we couldn’t do what we do if we didn’t have the fantastic team around us showing their commitment and support– and I am hugely honoured by this award. Throughout 2020, people across the social care sector have worked selflessly at the frontline of this pandemic; it is wonderful to see them recognised with these awards.” Julian Evans, Head of Healthcare at Knight Frank, said: “We are thrilled to acknowledge the amazing people that work within the social care sector, this year more than ever. Care providers have managed the COVID-19 pandemic brilliantly, particularly given challenges including lack of testing and PPE, and we received many nominations on behalf of some truly outstanding people working within the sector.

Matt Hancock Meets with “Inspiring” Team Members at Gracewell of Kentford Care Home

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, virtually met with team members at Gracewell of Kentford care home, on Monday 21st December, to discuss the care home’s innovative visiting protocol - which has allowed residents to have meaningful contact with their loved ones.

The Health Secretary heard from Peter Walton, the care home’s General Manager, about how this protocol has proven invaluable to numerous residents and their families. The protocol, known as ‘Safe Visits’, identifies ways that family members can safely see their loved ones in a meaningful way, including holding hands, where there is a clinical need. Hancock also thanked the care home for providing inspiration to the changes in government guidance earlier this year which re-introduced visits to care homes. The Health Secretary said: “I wanted to make sure that the guidance was clinically correct, and you showed how this could be done. I really appreciate what you are doing, not only in Kentford and across the country, but in inspiring the national guidance changes that we have been able to bring through.” Speaking of the introduction of these visits, Peter said: “There was a sense of determination that we wanted to implement safe visiting. We’ve had huge support from the region and Gracewell Healthcare, and it has been brilliant to see the reaction of residents and their loved ones when they have been able to see each other again.” Anna Selby, Head of Gracewell Healthcare’s COVID-19 Task Force,

Heanor Park Care Home Winner of Client of the Year at the Lux Awards* 2020

The Circadian Plus solution includes bespoke lighting design, smart lighting software and spectrum-controlled lights – creating a truly revolutionary solution that has resident health and wellbeing at the forefront. The impact of the lighting at Heanor Park has significantly reduced resident falls, increased engagement, and has improved sleep-wake cycles. Check out our case study video to understand more at The term Circadian Lighting is defined as lighting that replicates natural light (as closely as possible) to support human circadian rhythms, otherwise known as our internal body clock. We are all governed, to some degree, by our internal body clock - the timing, intensity and colour of light are key factors in regulating our sleep and wake patterns. Disturbances in the circadian rhythm can have a physiological and mental impact, and often causes poor sleep patterns. Many factors can influence our circadian rhythms, such as exercise/movement and food intake.

However, by combining them with new interactions with our non-image forming light receptors, we can achieve excellent results in the care home setting where residents tend to struggle to spend time outdoor where they can be exposed to the benefits of natural light. Some of the main benefits of circadian lighting are: • Improved sleep • Improved mood • Less risk of developing certain mental and physical health conditions • Reduction in errors and accidents • Faster cognitive processing • Increased alertness at the right times of day • Can aid with the rehabilitation of certain medical conditions e.g. brain injuries • Can be beneficial for elderly residents and people with Alzheimer’s disease To understand more about the importance of care home lighting visit ‘We’re seeing a greater level of engagement from the residents during the day because the lighting is helping their body clock become alert and ready for the day…we’re not seeing people falling asleep in their chair or not wanting to engage in activities’. - David Poxton, Managing Director of Heanor Park Care Home * The Lux Awards are designed to celebrate and reward both creativity and sustainability, recognising clients and end-users that have used lighting in exceptional ways to improve their lit environment, reduce energy and achieve business objectives.

also spoke about the care provider’s testing regime which underpins this protocol. By using regular Lateral Flow Testing, Gracewell of Kentford has been able to effectively manage the risks associated with bringing visitors into the care home. Anna said that these tests, combined with appropriate PPE, has been key to facilitating numerous interactions in a safe and controlled environment. Speaking of the care home’s efforts to implement this protocol, Beverly Cardosa, Gracewell’s Regional Director of Operations for the South East, said: “The past nine months have been clearly challenging for our team members who have been at the coal face of the pandemic. They’ve worked hard to balance the expectations of our residents and their families against protecting the care home from the virus. Yet by making effective decisions on a day-to-day basis, they’ve been truly successful at maximising the quality of life for all at Gracewell of Kentford.” Matt Hancock then welcomed an invitation to visit the care home in person, when it is safe to do so, insisting that the care home stays in touch to keep him updated on their innovative work.


Can Employers Require Staff To Be Vaccinated? By Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director at Peninsula ( Despite employers' measures to ensure that their workplace is COVID secure, many will view the vaccine as the key development to offer the utmost protection against coronavirus to employees. Therefore, employers will be keen to see their employees taking up the vaccine to enable a return to a more 'normal' way of working. The Government's current strategy is to offer the vaccine on a voluntary basis and has stopped short of making it a mandatory exercise. This means that the UK population will have a choice over whether to take this step which means that some may, for various reasons, decline. In the main, it is not likely that employers will be able to require their employees to have the vaccine. This will be particularly true of workplaces which lend themselves to homeworking because there are clearly other tried and tested methods to safeguard employees' welfare during, and after, the pandemic. Employers would be in a better position to

require employees to have the vaccine if a clause exists within the contract of employment which covers medical intervention in place to safeguard colleagues as well as the public with whom the employee may come into contact with. However, these will be rare and even where they do exist; employers would need to proceed with caution. Instructions to employees to have the vaccine would need to be reasonable. Employers in some sectors may be in a stronger position to give a reasonable management instruction to employees due to the nature of the work, for example, those in the care sector where it is difficult, or impossible, to adhere to social distancing and other health and safety rules that other employers would find manageable. However, employees in these sectors may have valid reasons for not getting the vaccine on medical advice, for example, pregnant employees or those with certain health conditions so employers who wish to take action for 'refusal' should be aware of the risks. Employees may also choose not to have the vaccine for religious reasons. Some may argue that the antivax movement would qualify as a philosophical belief, both of which are covered under the 'religion or belief' aspect of the Equality Act 2010. Employers would have to be careful that no employee was subject to less favourable treatment - dismissal, for example – for refusing the vaccine because of one of the protected characteristics named in the Act.

Older And Wiser – Wokingham Care Home Residents Offer Their Advice For 2021 A Facebook post featuring residents of The Pinehurst Care Centre in Crowthorne, Wokingham is going viral, with over 45,000 people having seen and shared the wise words of guidance from residents aged from 84 to 105 on how to live a good live in 2021. Twelve ladies from the home were photographed holding up cards featuring their words of wisdom, part of an annual tradition, but for the first time, they were shared on the home’s open Facebook page. Activity manager Victoria Pembroke explains: “This is something we’ve done for a few years now, and the images have been shared with the residents’ families, but particularly over the last year, we’ve been trying to engage with our wider community more through social media – as face-to-face opportunities have been limited – so for the first time, we’ve posted them for everyone to see.” The response to the wise, and frequently cheeky advice has been fantastic, with hundreds of people sharing the images, and over 45,000 having seen them already. “These ladies are wonderful to be around, as many have a wicked sense of humour – and that really comes across in their advice,” adds Victoria. For example, 105 year old Claire’s advice comprises:

“I’m still learning! Be as wicked as possible. Life’s for living. You can’t please all the people all the time.” Whilst 96 year old Helen counsels: “Be happy. Do unto others as they would do unto you. Drink plenty of Whisky (any given amount).) “I am fortunate enough to be able to ask these lovely ladies for advice whenever I need it; their views on dating were particularly helpful, though probably not suitable for publication. Hopefully, people across the country can take enjoy sharing their advice as we head into 2021,” concludes Victoria. One resident, Kathleen, who has learned a thing or two during her 101 years (she celebrated her birthday this week) offers the life-hack tip that: “If your husband works for BOAC, you can travel the world for free” – though following this advice might have to wait until after the pandemic! And the last word has to be handed to 96 year-old Joan, who simply says: “Don’t bother giving advice because they don’t take it.”

Hampshire County Council Paves the Way for Care Provider Staff Apprenticeships Just a year after launching its Apprenticeship Levy Transfer scheme, Hampshire County Council has invested £1 million in new apprenticeships across the county. The Levy is an amount of money that, by law, large employers must set aside for apprenticeship training. If the full amount is not used in-house, or transferred, the remainder goes to the Treasury. Of the 234 individual transfers approved by the end of December, 152 went to fund apprenticeships in the care sector, with 29 care employers. Priority has also been given to small and medium enterprises, public bodies such as local councils, the emergency services and construction companies. Councillor Patricia Stallard, Executive Lead Member for Children's Services and Young People, said: “Although we have all had to cope and respond to the challenges presented by Coronavirus, one of the success stories of 2020 has been the enthusiastic take-up of our levy offer by employers, particularly as without this assistance, some compa-

nies would be unable to offer apprenticeships at all. “Both employers and staff benefit from apprenticeships, which help them to ensure they have the right skills for continued and future productivity, something that has become even more evident since the Covid-19 pandemic, with the ongoing need for high-quality care.” Langdale Nursing Home in Gosport has benefited from a County Council Apprenticeship Levy transfer to upskill its care staff. Manager Rebecca McBride explained: “As a business, we are committed to continuing professional development for our employees. We have a very diverse staff group who have had very different experiences in education prior to working with us – some positive, some negative. We recognise this and want to provide a positive learning experience which will enhance our business and their employment progression opportunities. The levy funding has meant that we can provide more training opportunities to our employees.” The County Council has allocated up to £2m of its Levy funds, to be

made available for apprenticeship transfers (subject to agreed criteria), available from December 2019 to March 2022. Employers seeking a share of the County Council’s transferred levy fund are encouraged to prioritise the offer of an apprenticeship to those who are vulnerable, such as young people who are not in education or training, the long-term unemployed, care leavers and people with special educational needs and disabilities. To qualify, employers must ensure apprentices are a Hampshire resident or working in the county, and that the apprentice’s place of training and work will be within the Hampshire County Council local authority area (even if the employer’s head office is not). Further sector related criteria will also apply. To find out more and apply for a Levy Transfer email

New Year Brings New Appointments at Maritime Charity Specialist maritime charity and care home, The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, has made major appointments to its senior team following the retirement of former Home Manager Anne Kasey, and Margaret Brazier MNM, Executive Assistant to the CEO, who served the Society for more than 90 years collectively. The Society has made a number of internal promotions, with Alice Mitroi taking on the role of Home Manager at Belvedere House – the Society’s nursing care home – and Luiza Jipa replacing her as Deputy Clinical Manager after four years as a nurse and Infection Prevention & Control Lead at the home. Maria Jobson, who has worked at the Society since 2014 following her 10-year career in the Civil Service, has been promoted to Head of Administration Services & PA to the CEO. Maria is now the first point of

contact for potential residents and their families; ensuring they have all the information they need about the care and associated services available at the Royal Alfred. The Society, which delivers expert care to former seafarers and their dependants, including those living with dementia, supports nearly 70 residents at its Banstead-based care home, and provides sheltered accommodation for 24 individually living tenants. Alice’s new role will be focused on ensuring smooth operations at the home so that the team can continue to provide the highest quality of care for its residents. Alice has worked in the care industry since the age of 19 and, having joined the Royal Alfred as a staff nurse in 2016 and progressing to Deputy Clinical Manager, became Home Manager at Belvedere House at the end of 2020. With a Master’s in Management of Health & Social Care, a Bachelor’s Degree in General Nursing and in Social Work, and a diploma in Dementia Care, Alice brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the care of residents in the home’s dedicated dementia wing. Now, with a team of 19 comprising of the nursing and activities teams, Alice is responsible for the overall running of the home. Alice said: “I have been in the care industry for 10 years now and it’s a proud moment for me to have been appointed as Home Manager, following in the footsteps of friend and mentor, Anne. It has been a chal-

lenging year for everybody, and I hope to keep morale high at the home and take Belvedere House in an exciting new direction in 2021 – I’m excited to embark on the next step in my career and lead my fantastic team for years to come.” The Society’s CEO, Commander Brian Boxall-Hunt, added: “We’re delighted to have Alice as our new Home Manager, she has become an extremely valued member of the team here at the Royal Alfred and we’re pleased to be able to help her move up in her career with the Society. Alice has been integral to helping the Society navigate the challenges presented to us in 2020 and I know she will do the same in 2021 as Home Manager – I’m confident that she will take Belvedere House from strength to strength.” The UK care sector struggles with a high staff turnover rate and more than 100,000 job vacancies at any one time however, the Royal Alfred is focused on recruiting and retaining the best staff; keeping turnover low and allowing them to continue delivering the very best care. The Society has an average annual staff turnover of just 11%, compared to the industry average of 31% [i] due to its recognition of the benefits of a strong learning and development programme. To find out more about the work of The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society visit the charity’s website (


More Than 2.2 Million People In UK Receive First Dose of Covid-19 Vaccine More than 2.2 million people in the UK have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the latest figures show as the government begins daily publications on vaccination uptake. The number of people who have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine between 8 December to Sunday 10 January is 2,286,572. The breakdown in each nation is: • England: 1,959,151 • Scotland: 163,377 • Wales: 86,039 • Northern Ireland: 78,005 More than 2.6 million vaccine doses (2,675,213) have been administered overall in the UK – excluding the number of second doses in Scotland – over the same time period.

NHS England will publish a more detailed breakdown of their figures every week – starting from Thursday – which will include vaccinations in England by region. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “It’s taken a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication to make such an incredible start to this ambitious deployment programme. Our vaccine deployment plan sets out exactly how we will harness these efforts to expand the programme quickly and safely. “Our UK Covid-19 vaccines delivery plan maps our route back to normality, but it does not mean we can be complacent and it is mission critical that everybody abides by the restrictions in the coming weeks. “The next few months will present a significant opportunity to turn the tide of battle against Covid – I am looking forward to watching these plans bring more reassurance and hope back to people’s lives after a difficult year.”

£500k Cash Boost for Organisations To Provide Musical Services For People with Dementia The Music for Dementia campaign and the Utley Foundation are kicking off 2021 with the launch of The Paul and Nick Harvey Fund to directly support musical activities for people living with dementia. Registered charities and CICs delivering music to people with dementia are being invited to apply for a grant from the £500k fund, launched yesterday (11 January 2021). Donated by The Hunter Foundation, this new fund builds on the success of the extensive work of Music for Dementia. The substantial donation came after Sir Tom Hunter heard about Paul & Nick Harvey via BBC Breakfast. Paul Harvey is a former classical pianist and music teacher, now in his 80s, who lives with dementia. His spontaneous Four Notes composition, videoed by his son Nick, went viral across social media in September 2020; it was orchestrated by a BBC Philharmonic player and

recorded by the BBC Philharmonic in October, then made available as a single. Music for Dementia was nominated by the father and son to receive half of the sales proceeds alongside Alzheimer’s Society. The Utley Foundation and Music for Dementia are looking for applications from providers of all different types of musical offers and services from across the UK. They would particularly like to hear from those who have developed innovative approaches to delivering music during COVID-19, and those working with BAME groups and communities. Any charity or CIC with an annual income of £5m or less, currently delivering music for people living with dementia in their local community, is eligible to apply for a grant from The Paul & Nick Harvey Fund. Grace Meadows, Programme Director for Music for Dementia, said: “We are delighted to be able to direct this generous donation from The Hunter Foundation towards community-based, musical offerings for people living with dementia and those that provide them. "Music will continue to play an incredibly important role in people’s lives and their recovery from Covid during this year. This additional funding boost to the sector will enable vital services to continue to help reduce isolation and loneliness, whilst supporting recovery and rehabil-

itation from the pandemic for all.” "The results of this fund will also build the evidence base of the benefits of music. It complements the work we are doing, including m4d Radio, our award-winning 24-hour radio station for people living with dementia , so that we can continue to advocate for wider change.” Paul and Nick Harvey commented: “We are both absolutely thrilled that the fund is now open. The power of music cannot be overstated, and we hope that the fund will help to improve the quality of life of as many people living with dementia as possible.” Sir Tom Hunter said: “Paul and Nick are an inspiration to us all, underscoring the power of music to support those afflicted by the awful impact of dementia…Music for Dementia is an amazing force in delivering support to grass roots organisations offering music therapy and we are proud to support this fund.” Application guidelines and an online application form are available via the Music for Dementia website


Vaccinations to be Offered In Sports Stadiums Commenting on the latest coronavirus figures which show that the daily death toll has now topped one thousand, Danny Mortimer, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “These figures need to be a wake-up call to the stark impact that the pandemic is having on our friends, neighbours and loved ones and the daily battle being played out across all health and care services against this horrible disease. “The tragedy of around 80,000 people dying in the UK with COVID-19 over the past year can sometimes be lost in the snowstorm of daily figures but behind each death is an individual and behind each hospitalisation is a dedicated team of health professionals who have been working flat out to tackle a pandemic day in, day out. But those teams across the country are becoming smaller through vacancies, exhaustion and sickness and the numbers they are supporting will become insurmountable peaks unless we all heed the chilling warning and follow the necessary guidelines. “We have reached the third consecutive day where the highest number

of daily cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began has been recorded and tragically, it has now been reported in the daily data that over 1,000 people have lost their lives due to COVID. We may soon be offering vaccinations in sports stadiums but we also have the daily caseload to fill them. “While the national lockdown is necessary and the vaccine roll-out offers hope, it will not be enough unless we all do what we can to reduce transmission of the virus. Protecting the NHS is not just a slogan or even an end in itself. On a daily basis, our members know this means protecting your friends, your families, your colleagues and your loved ones from harm and allowing the broader range of NHS services to carry on wherever possible. “Earlier this week the country was moved to its highest COVID alert level meaning that there was a ‘material risk of healthcare services being overwhelmed’. Figures like today take us one step closer to that prospect and so, it is incumbent on all of us to prevent that from happening.”

UK Company Develops Anti-Viral Facemask Believed To Kill Covid-19 SCIENTISTS at Cambridge University are testing a facemask that has an anti-viral fabric coating that they believe may kill Covid-19. The reusable mask was developed by British company LiquidNano and has already been shown to kill a coronavirus that is genetically and structurally very similar to SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen that caused the pandemic. The fabric of the mask contains a unique nano-coating called DiOX 4, which has strong anti-viral properties, according to an initial study by the University of Cambridge. Further testing has now been commissioned to evaluate the efficacy of the mask directly on Covid-19. Andy Middleton of LiquidNano said: "We have created an antimicro-

bial face mask that is environmentally friendly and ergonomically designed to be worn comfortably for long periods. The mask can be washed up to 20 times, which is a major positive for anybody who is concerned about the environmental impact of disposable masks." The initial study of the DiOX 4 facemask was overseen by Dr. Graham Christie, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge. Dr Christie commented: "Our study showed that the coating on this facemask has strong anti-viral properties, which are likely to be effective against all types of coronavirus. We initially tested it on a pathogen called MHV-A59, which is genetically and structurally very similar to the causative agent of Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2). We found that the mask killed almost 95% of the test virus within one hour." "We followed the industry standard testing for viruses on material (ISO18184:19) but made some critical adaptations to give it a more ‘real-

strong viricidal activity with respect to the control material, with a near

world’ relevance. This included conducting splash tests to mimic sneez-

95% (1.25 log) reduction in viral titre after a 1 hour contact period. The

ing to ensure the tests were as rigorous as possible. Therefore, there is

murine Coronavirus inoculum is undetectable in eluates after a 4 hour

evidence to suggest that this mask could be beneficial in helping to pre-

contact period, representing an 8 log reduction in titre (although there is

vent human to human transmission of Covid-19, and we are now sched-

no formal definition or standard, we would consider a 5 log reduction to

uled to conduct further tests using the SARS-Cov-2 pathogen."

be indicative of significant viricidal activity)."

A number of commercial companies, including those within the hos-

The study found that the mask maintained its antiviral properties after

pitality and retail sectors, are currently trialling the mask with a view to

repeated washing, albeit at a reduced rate when compared to a box-

rolling-out its use for employees.

fresh mask.

The study showed that 95% of viral pathogens introduced to the fabric surface were killed within one hour and almost 100% after four hours. The study concluded: "Box fresh DiOX coated fabric is associated with

For further information, please visit


Yorkshire Based Care Home Provider To Open Five New Homes In 2021 Exemplar Health Care, announced it will be investing over £20M to open five new homes in the UK, over the next year. The specialist care home provider, with a head office in Rotherham, already has 32 homes across Yorkshire, the Midlands, North East and North West. The additional five homes will be based in Hull, Bradford, Birmingham, South Elmsall and Ellesmere Port. The homes will support adults who need specialist nursing care and are living with a complex neuro disability, physical disability or mental health condition. In addition to providing a supportive community-based service for all residents, up to 150 jobs are expected to be created within every new home.

Charlotte Lloyd, Commissioning Director at Exemplar Health Care, comments: “We’re proud to announce that we are investing in five new specialist care homes in England during 2021 – bringing our total number of homes open across the UK, to 37. “These community-based homes provide person-centered care and rehabilitation that focus on maximising independence, building everyday living skills, and empowering people to live as fulfilled lives as possible. “It is extremely rewarding to be able to support local people with complex health needs, and to provide over 500 stable and local jobs. We already employ 1000 people in the Yorkshire region, so we’re proud to be opening two further care homes in Bradford and Hull.”

Companionship Boost Cheers Hundreds Of Care Home Residents A south coast care home provider has dramatically expanded its companionship team to help maintain residents’ wellbeing and quality of life during lockdown. Colten Care has appointed 18 new recruits to lead group activities such as arts and music sessions and deliver meaningful and inspiring one-to-one time. The new hires include singers, musicians and teachers. Together they will provide up to 1,000 residents at Colten’s 21 homes with an extra 469 hours of companionship opportunities each week. The expansion is intended to support residents and families faced with renewed restrictions on care home visiting under the latest government lockdown measures. Elaine Farrer, Colten’s Operations Director, said: “We already put great store on enabling residents to enjoy companionship and lovely experiences with others. We know how powerful and valuable this is for people’s daily living. “During the pandemic, the constraints on family visiting have heightened the need for companionship because of the lack of opportunity for face-toface contact with loved ones. “That’s why we have ‘upped our game’ and invested in the expansion of our dedicated team. “The resident is at the very heart of everything we do, with clinical, com-

panionship and other team members all supporting their emotional, physical and mental wellbeing.” The extra team members will supplement the work of colleagues who have continued to provide companionship, activities and experiences during the pandemic. Examples include birthday and anniversary celebrations, community occasions and an across-the-group garden produce show in which residents grew and showcased flowers, fruit and vegetables. In addition, all 21 homes have continued to fundraise for charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support, Children in Need, local food banks and other community causes. Celebrations during the Christmas season included gala lunches, candlelit carol singing, religious services, lantern walks and community window displays. Among the new recruits to the companionship team is singer and pianist Nicky Stevens, a member of the 1976 Eurovision-winning group Brotherhood of Man. Nicky, who has joined Colten’s Outstanding-rated Ferndown home Amberwood House, said: “Music is so uplifting and therapeutic. It’s wonderful to be able to use my talents to help provide residents who are vulnerable with stimulation and keep them cheered up. I’m loving this opportunity.”

Covid: Life on the Frontline: Suzie’s Story

Suzie is a Health Care Assistant (HCA) at our High Wycombe Home. Here, as part of Royal Star & Garter’s Covid: Life on the frontline series, she talks about the impact the virus has had on her and the Home. I remember being at work, it was March, and someone came around with face masks and said we need to wear them at all times in the Home. Everything got real then, and I thought ‘Oh my God!’ I burst into tears, because I didn’t know how I was going to cope with wearing the mask for 12 hours. I put it on and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. But one of my managers gave me a big hug – it was before we were told to social distance - and said not to worry, that we’re all in this together, and that made me feel better. When lockdown happened I was lucky. My youngest son and his girlfriend, who was expecting a child, had come to visit and they ended up staying. I had to look after them as well as myself, and I was glad to have the company, otherwise I would’ve been on my own and I don’t think that would’ve been very good for my mental health. It could’ve been so different and much worse. I’ve had the opportunity to come to work, had the support of my colleagues, and it got me out of the house. I have had my son at home, which has been so important because I don’t think I would’ve got through this if I was coming back to an empty

house with no-one to talk to. After about a week or so I had to come to a decision. What happens if one of our residents gets Covid while I’m working? I sat down with my manager and said if a resident or colleague gets Covid I can’t go home. I told her I’m high risk myself with Type 1 diabetes, and my son’s girlfriend was pregnant, so I had to protect her. My other daughter is also high risk, and my parents are over 80 and my dad has heart failure. The only place I thought I could stay is my other home, which is here. My manager said that was fine. I spoke to all my children and explained to them my plan. I said if anything happens to me, at least I’ve been doing the job that I love. I said to them, “Don’t worry I’ll be fine.” I turned 50 during lockdown. It wasn’t the birthday I was anticipating or had planned for. I was going to have a party and everything, but didn’t because obviously we were in lockdown. My daughter came and threw my birthday present over the fence and we had a long-distance hug. I went to work that day, and after lunch my colleagues had organised a small surprise party for me. We danced and had cake. It was a lovely day. They made it special, because even though I wasn’t able to spend it with my family, I got to spend it with my other family! It was really nice and something I will never forget. Working together in the pandemic has actually brought the team at High Wycombe closer together. We look out for each other and we’ve bonded even more. You make a point of asking others, “Are you OK?”, and they’ll say “Yeah.” But then you ask, “Are you really OK?”, and then they might say something like “I’m just having a rubbish day,” and open up. I remember there were a couple of colleagues who were off when we were told to wear the face masks. And when they came back to work and put the masks on for the first time, they panicked. So I told them to come outside, take off the masks, take deep breaths and drink some water. I told them I felt the same when I first put on a mask. I told them I knew how they felt because I felt the same a week earlier. We’re here for each other, we’re all leaning on each other. It’s what you’d do for family and the people you love. If anything, the care has got better during the pandemic. It was

always amazing, but we’re really focussed on wearing PPE, washing our hands, making sure the surfaces are clean. We’re helping out colleagues. We try to keep residents going too, but that’s not easy. I think a few of them have found it quite hard. You try to explain to them what’s going on, and that this is the safest place they can be. They have phone and video calls, socially-distanced outdoor visits, and use our new Covidsecure meeting rooms. But they ask why their loved ones aren’t coming in to see them like before. It’s especially tough for someone living with dementia because it’s hard to explain to them. They’ll know and understand, and then a short while later they’ll ask why no-one’s coming to visit them. We have to explain that we can’t let them come in for a while. But it’s been good that they can have the face-to-face visits outside and in the Covid-secure rooms, because you can see the boost to their morale, you can see that they’re all happy again because they have seen their families. We’ve all seen how good it is for their well-being, and I know from experience. My Mum and Dad live down the road and know what time I start and finish. I walk past theirs every day to go to work. So every morning they’re at the window and they wave as I go past. My Dad goes out about once a month, and during lockdown they didn’t go out at all. It means the world to me and them. The worst moment I’ve had was when I got a call at 3.30am from my oldest son, telling me my Mum was at the bottom of the stairs crying out in pain. I jumped out of bed in my pyjamas, jumped in the car and got straight down there. We had to get her sorted and call an ambulance. I couldn’t go with her to the hospital, and that was heart-breaking. My parents know if they’re ever ill, I’m right by their side. And now I couldn’t be with my Mum. Watching her go off to hospital, and not being with her, broke my heart, but I had to let her go. It was horrible waiting for the hospital to call back. I didn’t want to bother them every five minutes asking if my Mum was OK. As it was, she was fine and was released from hospital after three or four days. Looking forward, life has to go on. I go shopping once a week and that’s it. All my time is spent at work or at home. That’s what we have to do to keep our residents safe, we care so much about them. And we’re doing a good job. We’ve all done our bit at work and outside of work. And we’ll continue to do so.

Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo Postponed Until September The organisers of Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo, Roar B2B have postponed the event for a third time due to the pandemic. The event, which was due to take place at the NEC in Birmingham on 9-10 March, has now been moved to 15-16 September. “We have been in consultation with various government departments and whilst the rollout of the vaccine has given the country much needed optimism, we have been advised that we will be unable to host the event in the spring,” Roar B2B said in a statement.

“The safety of our visitors, customers, partners and staff is paramount. We are confident that moving the event to September will enable us to run the safe, successful event the industry demands,” it added. Roar B2B will hold a digital version of Dementia, Care & Nursing Home taking place on 9-10 March. The event will provide a “digital meeting place, world class speaking sessions and access to the latest products and services”, it said. The Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo was initially scheduled for 17-18 March 2020 before being postponed for the first time to 9-10 November.



Sunrise of Mobberley Innovates its Dining Offering Over the last ten years, Sunrise of Mobberley care home has been innovating their dining services to continually deliver exceptional meals to its residents. Led by Adam Hedges, the care home’s Dining Service Co-ordinator, Sunrise of Mobberley has made significant strides in improving its firstclass dishes. Adam joined Sunrise of Mobberley following an esteemed career in the catering industry. Having started cooking when he was just 15 years old, Adam went on to study Catering at college before being enrolled into a School of Excellence after impressing his tutors. Graduating from his studies, Adam took various positions in hotels and restaurants before coming across an opening at Sunrise of Mobberley. Joining in 2009, Adam went on to be promoted to his current position after just three months. Now, with over ten years’ experience in the care home’s kitchen, he has overseen immense changes to not only the variety and quality of the dishes the care home serves its residents, but introduced a culture founded on a commitment to detail. Speaking of his introduction to Sunrise of Mobberley, Adam said: “I first came across an opening for a Kitchen Porter position at Sunrise of Mobberley. I had been wanting to move away from the intensity and relentlessness of restaurant environments and saw this as an ideal opportunity to progress my career while benefitting from an improved work-life balance.

After joining the catering team, I quickly moved onto my current position where I was able to implement various changes to improve the quality of our kitchen’s output.” As part of these changes, Adam sought to create a truly restaurant-style experience for the care home’s residents. This has permeated all aspects of the kitchen, ranging from the table service residents experience and creating menus based around resident favourites, through to adapting wellloved classics into pureed dishes for those residents with restricted dietary requirements. “I wanted to ensure that those residents who are on pureed diets are still able to enjoy food just as much as they had earlier in their lives. While these dishes can be challenging to create, we’ve invested time in trialling and experimenting to ensure all dishes remain thoroughly enjoyable. “For example, current seasonal dishes which are centred around meat and vegetables do not appear particularly appetising when the dish’s component parts are blended together. To get around this, we use piping to create a variety of colours on each plate, each with their own distinctive flavours. Our roast turkey with a pigs in blanket stuffing, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, sprouts and a cranberry sauce is just one example of this and is now a favourite among those on pureed diets.” Adam has also paid particular attention to innovating the breakfast service at the care home. Noting that those on pureed diets are typically served porridge, he has now introduced plates such as pancakes and fruit to increase the variety of dishes served. By effectively recreating the flavours of pancakes in pureed form and then piping the fruit separately on top, Adam has been able to boost the enjoyment of this important meal for many residents, while also ensuring that their diets remain varied and balanced. Although he has seen many changes during his time at Sunrise of Mobberley, he says that the COVID-19 pandemic presented one of the most challenging tasks of his career. Before the pandemic struck in March 2020, residents would often leave the care home with friends and family to enjoy meals together at their favourite restaurants. However, with care home closures preventing resi-

dents from visiting restaurants and spending time with their loved ones, Adam went to great lengths to recreate some of the dining magic which was a staple in the lives of so many residents. “The COVID-19 pandemic was hugely damaging to care homes in so many ways. Although the virus presented a clear threat to the lives of our residents, the safety measures which we implemented meant that they’re lives were drastically changed. For example, enjoying quality food with friends and family is vital to living a happy life, yet the pandemic meant that this was impossible for a period of time. “Determined to give our residents access to a degree of normality, we actively asked residents for requests so they could continue to enjoy their favourite meals from the safety of the care home. Having seen the pleasure that these dishes brought to our residents, the entire kitchen was proud to have played our part in helping the care home to remain a comfortable and enjoyable environment.” Adam’s strong experience has seen Sunrise of Mobberley innovate its dining services to deliver exceptional dishes across each meal and dining opportunity, even adapting to the demands presented by a global pandemic. Looking ahead, Adam says that the care home’s catering team will continue to innovate, always being led by the desires and requests of residents at the care home.

Are You in Need of Dysphagia Training ?

been successfully completed. Use the camera on your phone to scan the QR code to access the e-learning and get started! For any questions contact your local Nutricia sales representative or our Resource Centre at Nutilis Clear is a Food for Special Medical Purposes for the dietary management of dysphagia and must be used under medical supervision.


*This training is intended for healthcare professionals only.

Did you know that between 50-75% of nursing home residents suffer from dysphagia1? Nutricia has a training solution for you, a FREE elearning covering the fundamentals of dysphagia management using Nutilis Clear. The training is divided into 4 sections and has been specially designed for busy health and social care staff caring for people living with dysphagia. It takes 60 minutes in total to complete, however you can complete one section at a time.

How can this training help you? • Easy & convenient online solution to dysphagia training • Visibility to track progress in your care home • Raise the quality standard of dysphagia care in a consistent way The quality standards aim is for all new health and social care staff members caring for patients with Dysphagia to complete the modules as part of their induction programme. Existing health and social care staff members should also complete the learning to support their continuing professional development. There is a certificate that can be downloaded once the training has

Reference: 1. O’Loughlin G, Shanley C. Swallowing problems in the nursing home: a novel training response. Dysphagia 1998; 13, 172-183.(


LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS JLA's Ozone Washing System Proven To Remove All Traces of Coronavirus in University Study of Infected Laundry

Treating coronavirus-infected laundry with a professional ozone washing system could have major implications for the future of infection control for the care sector, according to new research. The in-depth study carried out at De Montfort University in Leicester found that the OTEX washing system, which uses ozone to kill bacteria even at low temperatures, completely removes all traces of coronavirus (OC43), a model virus for SARS-CoV-2. The system, created by JLA (the UK’s leading supplier of commercial laundry equipment) was tested by a research team overseen by Dr Katie Laird, Reader in Microbiology and Head of the Infectious Disease Research Group, and expert virologist Dr Maitreyi Shivkumar, Lecturer in Molecular Biology. The research found that cleaning with the OTEX technology completely removed the coronavirus, even in large washing loads. Additional testing also proved that the virus was not transferred to other textiles in the wash. Believed to be one of the first studies of its kind, the research proves that coronavirus-infected laundry can be cleaned even at low temperatures, allowing heat sensitive items such as personal clothing, hospital mattress covers, emergency rescue wear and microfibre items to be cleaned effectively. Dr Laird and her team are now completing the next stage of their research, looking at the rate at which the virus is inactivated in the cleaning process to give more data on the length of time and quantities of ozone required for the virus to be eliminated. Dr Laird comments, “A key element of tackling the spread of COVID-19 is to understand how effective infec-

tion control can be implemented in real world settings. There are a variety of situations in which textiles potentially carrying the virus need to be cleaned, such as care homes, hospitals and hotels. “Until now we have had little data about how the virus responded to different types of cleaning. These initial results demonstrate that cleaning with ozone, as in the OTEX system, completely removes the model coronavirus. “This held true even when treating larger loads of washing, as is likely to be the case in a real laundry setting. This result can give reassurance that such cleaning is effective .” The implications of these findings are hugely significant for the healthcare sector in the fight against COVID19 and the protection of both service users and staff. The financial and environmental benefits are equally as impressive. Research shows that over the average sevenyear lifespan of a standard 30kg thermal disinfection cycle, using OTEX can reduce operating costs by over £130,000, whilst also reducing the businesses total carbon footprint by over 400 tonnes. Helen Ashton, CEO from JLA commented “I am really excited about the results of these tests as here at JLA we play our part in eradicating this terrible virus. We have been developing and refining the OTEX laundry system for over fifteen years and its benefits to our customers are clear - full eradication of disease, including coronavirus, even at low temperatures and a significant reduction in operational cost coupled with a meaningful benefit to the environment. “The system has been designed to be easy to use with real time verification of the disinfection process on every wash which provides a unique audit trail of full compliance to regulatory standards.” This is the latest accolade for JLA’s innovative OTEX system, having been previously recognised by the NHS Rapid Review Panel in 2009 set up by the government to fast track new technology to address hospital acquired infections, achieving the highest grade (level 1) for infection control products. More recently, assessment of compliance with current Public Health England HTM01-04 guidelines for the decontamination of healthcare linen. The OTEX ozone system is also fully supported in line with the EU Biocidal Products Regulation. For more information about OTEX by JLA, please visit: or see the advert on the facing page.

Forbes Professional Helps the Care Industry Adhere to Stringent Laundry Regulations For a care home, their laundry operation is always a central part of the infection control that has never been more pressing than today. The Department of Health’s CFPP 01-14 guidelines state that each wash cycle must provide the requisite disinfection. Machines must be also approved to WRAS category 5 due to elevated risks of contamination. In order to meet stringent laundry hygiene standards, PPE is essential as are established processes to enable efficient transportation and procedural segregation of clean and soiled items. As standard, CFPP 01-04 requires that laundry is washed in a commercial washing machine at the highest possible temperature. For enhanced hygiene requirements, all washing cycles must have a thermal disinfection cycle that reaches 71°C for at least three minutes, or 65°C for at least ten minutes. Forbes is proud to be partnered with Miele which enables us to provide highly efficient commercial laundry solutions to care homes and the NHS. The new, highly programmable and user-friendly Little Giant range from Miele provides thermal disinfection at 85°C for 15 minutes to kill viruses and bacteria. It is

also WRAS approved to category 5 and delivers faster wash cycles and impressively low energy consumption, making it an ideal choice for any care environment. Our laundry solutions include a complementary site survey, free installation, commissioning and user training as well as a first-class service support, at no extra cost for the life of the contract. Contact, call 0345 070 2345 or see the advert on page 37.

5 Reasons Why You Should Choose LaundryTec Chester based LaundryTec since its foundation in early 2016 has become one of Alliance Internationals major UK distributers. Founded by Jeremy Hartigan, the team of industry professionals with the backing of the Alliance Lavamac brand and supported by its service partner PDS Laundry based in Nuneaton. They supply a significant number of the UK’s leading health care operators with equipment, installation and after sale support. The LaundryTec designs offer not only washing, drying and ironing equipment but a full range of handling, distribution, folding and identification systems, to create a fully functioning laundry complete with all items necessary for efficient operation. Every LaundryTec machine includes full installation options, including the removal and disposal of an existing machine. A training program and a minimum of 24

0151 317 3127

months part and labour warranty. The environment is at the forefront of every operator’s mind. Standard specification on a Lavamac machine includes functions that automatically weigh and control the energy input into the machine and store the data in the machines memory. Our LS range of electric heat pump dryers require no ventilation or gas services and operates at 3kw per hour.

5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE LAUNDRYTEC 1. Cost 2. Efficiency 3. Service 4. Design 5. Innovation Telephone 0151 317 3127 Web


Washer Extractors

Tumble Dryers

Cost Quality Service Design Innovation

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PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Why Specify a Yeoman Shield Fire Rated Door Edge Protector? When specifying for a structure, it’s important to be aware of the level of wear and tear a door can be exposed to in a public building. Door edges, in particular, can be easily damaged or worn down by regular use – which can then render them non-compliant for fire safety regulations. To ensure that a project remains compliant, an architect can specify durable door edge protectors to add durability and longevity to doors. Not only will specifying edge protectors increase the longevity of doors, they will enhance the cost efficiency of a project by reducing maintenance demands and the possibility of having to replace unsafe fire doors. Yeoman Shield fire rated Door Edge Protectors are unique with a 2.0 mm Vinylac outer and a specially formulated 9mm PVCu reinforced core. They are FD30 (1/2 hour) and FD60 (1 hour) rated

with intumescent seals that are in accordance to the fire door’s specification. Fire rated Door Edge Protectors are suitable for commercial applications such as residential blocks, schools and hospitals etc. Door Edge Protectors can also be specified with different fire seals, from a plain intumescent fire seal to a brush, fire and smoke variant. Of course, for doors that are non-fire rated in an architect’s project Yeoman Shield also provide quality edge protectors without seals to enhance durability and reduce wear. Source a full range of door protection panels and kick plates from a single supplier by choosing Yeoman Shield. Our door protection panels and kick plates offer the same lasting durability and quality as our door edge protectors. See page 12 or visit for details.

Care sector employers looking to reward hard working staff for their efforts during lockdown have helped double new business at one of the UK’s leading gifting and engagement companies. Appreciate Group saw the sharp rise in demand from new clients between April and August as firms looked to thank employee efforts during the pandemic. The year-on-year increase was particularly high in the care sector – where many employees remained in the workplace throughout lockdown. Appreciate Group’s business products include Love2shop gift cards, e-gift cards and vouchers all of which companies can use to reward their employees and customers. Love2shop can be redeemed with many of the nation’s leading retailers and leisure providers. Frank Creighton, Director of Business Development at Appreciate Group said: “Employees up and down the country have needed to adapt to new and different ways of working during these challenging times, be

that working from home or abiding by social distancing rules in the workplace. “These challenges have also led to an increasing number of employers finding new ways to say thank you to colleagues for their efforts during lockdown, including digital rewards.” “Recognition gestures such as gift cards can go a long way in making staff feel that their employer values their commitment. Many companies will need these hard-working employees as they continue to deal with, and emerge from, the challenges of COVID-19.” Employers are able to use the tax-free Trivial Benefits Allowance to reward staff with gift cards up to the value of £50. For more information on tax-free gifting for employees, visit: or email Alex Speed, Head of Business Development, at Appreciate Group

CareZips Dignity Trousers ™

CareZips™ preserve dignity and privacy of people receiving care during diaper changes. CareZips™ make diaper changes easier and faster, reducing workload, saving efforts, and saving time! CareZips™ help to deliver better standards of care! Fitted with unique 3-zip fastening system, the CareZips™ make changing of incontinence diapers more dignified and comfortable for the patients and easier and faster for the carers. CareZips™ feature 3 strategically positioned zips, 2 of which run from the waist to the knees on both sides of the body. The 3rd zip goes from the inside of one knee up to the crotch and down to the second knee on the inside of the other leg. This zip facilitates total opening of the trousers at the crotch during diaper changes. The 3-zip system ensures fast and easy access to the abdomen and crotch without having to undress the patients or pull their trousers down.

CareZips™ are suitable for men and women. They are available in 7 sizes for perfect fit. CareZips™ are soft and wrinkle resistant with stretch and give for extra comfort. Practical, durable, washable and non-iron, the CareZips™ trousers are the perfect choice for daily use. Contact Win Health Medical Ltd - 01835 864866 or see the advert on page 3.

New Scale for Mobility-Impaired Residents Could Reduce ‘Risk of Injury to Staff and Demand From Care Sector Firms Rewarding Staff In Residents’ and ‘Costs to Healthcare’ Lockdown Drives Surge In Recognition Products

Euroservice Trolley Manufacturers celebrating 40 years of experience in the sale and manufacture of wooden trolleys for the catering trade, Euroservice trolley manufacturers have now acquired a worldwide reputation and still offer an extensive /comprehensive range of top quality wooden trolleys manufactured in the UK. Top quality is a priority in the production of all of our products and Euroservice are specialists in the manufacture of sturdy and beautiful looking trolleys which will grace any environment from the small privately owned restaurant to the splendid 3 to 5

star hotels, resorts and Residential homes. Euroservice’s excellence in the manufacture of wooden trolleys is backed by a personal, efficient and friendly service second to none. We are always busy researching the needs of the market and launch new ranges according to market demands. Whatever your needs you can be assured that Euroservice can cater for them and we look forward to your call. Freephone: 0800 917 7943

C & S Seating Postural Management C & S Seating has been providing postural control equipment to hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and medical equipment services nationwide since 1991. With 9 different sizes of T-Rolls and Log Rolls in a removable and machine washable, waterproof Titex or Soft Knit material. These rolls are used to control posture and position of the body in either supine or side lying. Our Knee & Leg support wedges are available in 2 sizes. C & S Seating is the sole manufacturer of the Alternative Positioning Support (APS) system. Ideal when more control of the abducted lower limb is required (See photo) which has

removable side cushions and middle pommel; this is available in small or large. Our popular range of Soft Knit covers in a choice of 5 vibrant colours provide a softer alternative that fit easily over our standard waterproof rolls. It is recommended you seek professional advice to select the correct product depending on your needs. Contact us on 01424 853431 or visit us at to request or download a brochure, pricelist or order form, request an individualised quotation, speak to an advisor or to place an order. See the advert on page 10.

A new chair scale with a lifting seat, believed to be the first of its kind, will ‘reduce risk of injury to residents’ and ‘support the musculoskeletal health of staff’ when weighing individuals with limited mobility. By making the weighing process easier, the new device could also ‘reduce costs to healthcare’’ according to the manufacturer. The M-250, available now from scale manufacturer Marsden, is a chair scale that features a seat that rises and lowers to help a resident get into, and out of, a sitting position. Marsden says it has been introduced in response to requests from customers for easier ways to weigh residents who cannot stand unaided. The tilting seat base, operated by a handheld remote control, rises to the resident and then gently lowers them into the seat. Once weighing is complete, it rises slowly to assist them from sitting to a near-standing position. The new weighing scale is Class III Approved, meaning it is legally suitable for weighing individuals for medical purposes. It provides an accurate weight reading to the nearest 100g, and has a capacity of 250kg. The seat is slightly wider than standard chair scales, meaning it can accommodate larger residents. Development of the new weighing scale began in 2017, with input provided by care homes, back care specialists and other industry experts, including medical device design house PD-M. The scale was developed alongside the Patient Transfer Scale, Marsden’s transfer board with built-in weighing scale that was launched in late 2018.

“The M-250 is designed to make weighing residents with limited mobility more comfortable, less stressful, and potentially even reduce the time and number of staff it typically takes to weigh these individuals,” said Dave Smith, Marketing Director at Marsden. “We want to see it reducing costs to healthcare too, through quicker, easier weighing processes and less risk of injury to care staff.” Mark Coates, Operations Director at Marsden, said: “The biggest challenge of weighing residents with limited mobility is the time it takes, the stress on the individual and the amount of effort required by staff. “When developing the scale we had to consider the benefit to the resident and the member of staff. What’s safest and easiest for the healthcare professional without compromising comfort for the resident? “Our finished product has been tested by individuals with varying levels of mobility, and with both one and two members of staff. Through this testing we found that effort required by staff to help the resident out of the seat was greatly reduced compared to a standard chair scale or wheelchair. “Plus, we’ve focused on reducing risk of injury to residents as well as supporting the musculoskeletal health of healthcare staff when weighing those with limited mobility.” “We’re looking forward to seeing the M-250 make a real difference in care homes in the UK, and around the world.” The M-250 Chair Scale with Stand Assist is available to order now on the Marsden website. or email

NEW Adaptawear Clothing Website Helping Independent & Assisted Dressing Adaptawear has recently launched their NEW and improved website making it even easier for customers to browse, buy and shop online. Benefits of New Website • New Adaptawear logo – easier and cleaner to read • Faster and simpler to buy online through your mobile, tablet or PC • Improved navigation to relevant collections & categories: ladies wear, menswear and lifestyle and comfort • Updated and enhanced product photography • Easier & additional payment opportunities: • Secure & reliable • Ability for customers to set up account online so you can track orders and make it easier for repeat or new orders • Improved order tracking functionality • Integrated customer reviews Adaptawear provides adaptive clothing that are specially designed to making dressing easier and the elderly and disabled; both for independent dressing and assisted dressing. Adaptawear clothes are ideal for arthritis, stroke, Parkinson, incontinence and dementia

sufferers as well as people of all ages who struggle with fastenings, buttons and zips. If you are a healthcare or care home worker or Occupational Therapist and struggling to dress your patients during this Covid-19 pandemic; then take a look at our range of Adaptawear adapted clothing for both men and women CARER OFFER: SAVE 10% Do go and visit online at to buy adapted clothing online. Carer readers please quote CR10 for 10% discount off your first order.

Antimicrobial Contract Fabrics for Added Reassurance Skopos has recently launched a new sub-brand, Skopos Pro-tect Plus, as a marker for all Skopos products offered with an antimicrobial finish. Skopos has been offering antimicrobial fabrics for over 15 years, however the new sub-brand helps to clearly identify this offer to our customers, at a time where extra reassurance within contract interiors has never been more relevant. Within Pro-tect Plus Skopos customers have a choice of fabrics for different end uses; Antimicrobial drapery fabrics, Antimicrobial woven upholstery fabrics, Antimicrobial faux leather and vinyls. The upholstery fabrics offer includes luxury velvet, printed fabrics, vinyls and a large range of woven collections, mostly waterproof, soil and stain resist, perfect for caring interiors. Many of our drapery and bedding fabrics can be finished with an antimicrobial treatment, so

please ask. Choices include print basecloths, plain and woven designs. All antimicrobial fabrics are flame retardant and tested to the high standards required for contract interiors. Skopos antimicrobial fabrics have bacteriostatic, viral-reducing and anti-fungal properties. Fabrics are not seen as a beneficial host for Sars Cov-2 even without antimicrobial treatment, however including this extra benefit viruses and bacteria are greatly reduced. Free samples of our fabrics are available online or via our customer services team:


HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Portibac - Making The Places You Live and Work Safe PORTiBAC is the answer to the quick and effective sanitisation for care homes. Choose the PORTiBAC system that fits your needs. All come with our unique sanitising solution produced in the UK. PORTiBAC 800ML SPRAY GUN The entry level member of the PORTiBAC family has a simple mission - to sanitise the spaces you care about within minutes making the environment safe for staff and residents. Powered by a rechargeable battery and with its easy custom carry case, the PORTiBAC 800ML SPRAY GUN is ready to go anywhere.

What could be more satisfying than taking aim with this handy spray gun at the places you need to make safe? Filled with exclusive PORTiBAC Tropical Citrus solution - certified to kill Covid-19 on surfaces – the fine mist produced by the gun gets the job done in minutes. The PORTiBAC 800ML SPRAY GUN is available in, Metallic gold, Brushed silver & Brilliant white. Comes complete with 800ml of PORTiBAC Tropical Citrus solution all for just £125 PORTiBAC - the essential tool in the fight against the spread of Covid19 15% discount to all care homes, please see or call 03430 442 442

Staysafe Visor - CE-Certified PPE Manufactured in the UK

Staysafe Visor is a subsidiary of 1st Packaging Ltd, a leading specialist UK plastics manufacturer founded in 2002. Used in a wide range of health and commercial settings, our high-quality recyclable CE-certified face shields offer protection against liquid droplets, sprays and splashes. Our visors are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, are anti-fog and easy to assemble. As a long-established UK company, we have been able to step up our manufacture of PPE to meet high demand during the current unprecedented circumstances. Our facilities enable us to produce well in excess of

200,000 items per week. At Staysafe Visor our experienced team takes very seriously its role in supporting the health of the community by helping to maintain a safer environment. Availability and affordability are the cornerstones of our operation. Because we sell directly to

businesses, organisations and the general public, we are able to remove the need for intermediaries and keep costs low. We believe that we offer the most competitive rates on the market for this type of CE-certified PPE. Our high-quality products are helping to better protect employees in the NHS, care homes, education, transport, manufacturing and a host of other workplace settings. For further details about our range of visors please do not hesitate to contact our friendly expert team. See page 4 for details or visit

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HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL MAG Launches Ozone Generator Proven To Kill Covid–19 Are your rooms 100% free of germs and smells? Clean, fresh air has never been more important and ozone is being used in care homes across the UK as a new safety standard for infection control. The MAG Ozone Generator emits ozone through the air to sanitise surfaces and kill bacteria and viruses including Covid–19. Proven to eliminate SARS coronavirus, norovirus, E.coli, salmonella and more than 99% of harmful bacteria and viruses, ozone is recognised as the strongest and fastest method of destroying microorganisms. With cycle times as quick as 15 minutes the MAG Ozone Generator is the quick & easy way to sanitise any indoor environment including care homes, pods, rooms, offices, toilets,

canteens, storage areas and more. Ozone is also extremely effective at removing unwanted smells from rooms. Rather than masking unpleasant odours with air fresheners and chemicals you can permanently remove smells with the MAG Ozone Generator. Available for less than £5.00 per day MAG Ozone Generators can be purchased outright or paid for monthly via lease or rental. Separate to ozone generators MAG Equipment Ltd also supply and service all leading brands of commercial washing machines, tumble dryers and ironers should you require any assistance. To find our more visit or telephone 01422 244734.

New DePuro Pro Air Purifier In Use In Two NHS Hospitals The new DePuro Pro air purifier has been successfully installed in two NHS hospitals in Essex as part of their fight against the spread of Covid-19. The twelve units have been installed in three dental rooms and nine treatment rooms in a project to improve the air quality in the hospitals and increase patient turn-around in a clean and safe environment. The DePuro Pro unit comes in two sizes, it is a plug and play set up and uses two HEPA 14 filters which retain up to 99.995% of particulates including virus, bacteria and droplets within the air.

Dean Hill and Mark Coutts from Essex based contractors TH Electrical said: “We worked alongside VORTICE to specify the DePuro Pro to effectively clean and purify the air in these hospitals. As we know from the science, good indoor air quality is vital to the fight against the spread of Covid-19 and we’re delighted that these units are already starting to make a difference after only two weeks of being used.” For more information about the DePuro Pro and other products from VORTICE visit

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MAG OZONE GENERATOR Emits ozone through the air sanitising surfaces and killing bacteria, microorganisms and viruses including COVID-19 while eliminating unpleasant odours


01451 604708



HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL CTU Services' Thermal Access System With the introduction of various measures to constrain and manage the emergency of COVID-19 in the UK, CTU Services Thermal Access System presents the ideal solution. To address the challenge of social distancing many public places are implementing restrictions on customer flow. This includes locations such as the hospitality industry and the retail sector. CTU Services perfectly resolves the problem of "how to accurately and efficiently control customer flow in a premises" Their system detects how many people are present in the targeted area and display the figure in real-time. If the capacity is reached the system's display immediately indicates no more people should enter. The two systems that CTU Services supply can be merged together to give you more security and social distancing. The Thermal camera can be wall mounted or comes on a sleek stand. It will also notify

any number of members of staff of any issues with potential clients entering the premisses via text or email. • Facial recognition is fully integrated with body temperature monitoring. This means no additional staff are required. • The solution is contactless, reducing the risk of cross infection. • Extensive storage of facial images and temperature information enabling easy historical access. • Fast facial recognition and temperature monitoring reducing access congestion. In Scotland will detect if you are or are not wearing a mask / face covering. • Integration with third party products such as turnstiles and VMS. See a demonstration of the system at For further information, see the advert this page, call 01257 477060 or visit

Sheffcare Teams Up with Haigh Sheffcare continue to stay at the forefront of resident health, safety, and care. With ten homes across the city of Sheffield, Sheffcare a leading care charity, serves the needs of more than 500 older people and is strongly committed to providing high quality, compassionate care which enhances quality of life. Like a clean kitchen, often the most important aspects of infection prevention are out of sight. Best in class providers continue to invest in their facilities, ever-improving client health and experience. Most recently, Sheffcare has upgraded its waste management to Haigh's disposal units. These allow the hygienic disposal of disposable toileting items, simplifying and improving a challenging task for staff, reducing cross infection risks, and helping drive down long-term costs. Sheffcare noted "Investments like this are taken only once we have strong evidence. We trialled the

Please Please mention mentionTHE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.

Haigh Quattro and Haigh Incomaster at several of our sites. The improvement was noticeable, improving resident experience and for our care staff." Haigh has been designing bed pan disposers since the 1950s, supporting hospitals across the UK and worldwide, while investing in the UK economy. For further information, visit


HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Sanozone. The Easy Way To Sanitise Your Indoor Spaces SANOZONE, which delivers the most efficient sanitisation performance in indoor spaces, is now available from Barbel. Manufactured by Vitaeco S.r.l., the world famous manufacturer of the highly regarded HotmixPro thermal blender range, SANOZONE sanitises rooms of many sizes in enclosed HRC sites, hotels, restaurants, bars, conference rooms and similar establishments where totally reliable and regular sanitisation is needed. SANOZONE is particularly suitable for hospitals and care home areas, where absolute cleanliness is mandatory, and in areas where it is difficult or impossible to deliver effective sanitisation throughout. The SANOZONE range of machines use Ozone (O3) technolo-

gy, a gaseous form of Ozone that fills the room, reaching every corner of the space, santising surfaces and critical hard-to-reach corners homogenously, consistently and safely. The SANOZONE range of sanitisation machines are all equipped with the latest technology and customised disinfection programmes to suit your specific requirements. The running costs are considerably lower than any traditional disinfecting programmes and most importantly, there is no manual labour involved. For further information about the SANOZONE range, please contact Barbel on 01629 705110, email, or visit the website at

OneSpray - Reduces the Spread of Harmful Bacteria and Viruses Throughout the course of the 2020 pandemic, the Care Home sector has undoubtedly endured a challenging period. With an increased risk to staff and residents, there has been a lack of fundamental government support at all levels, leaving owners and managers with increased challenges. Infection control is naturally a top priority for Care Homes but never before has the risk been so acute. With a lack of direction and support from government, the onus is left to the individual homes to determine the best course of action. An obvious change has been to implement either significantly increased or continual cleaning procedures. However, as Channel 4’s Dispatches showed on 26 October 2020, whilst this can be effective if carried out perfectly, the results can be highly inconsistent in reality, as that policy is susceptible to human error. It also comes at a cost, in terms of both product and labour. Dispatches looked at continual cleaning procedures undertaken in Tesco, Costa Coffee, hotels and public transport, using ATP testing in a number of sample areas to determine the presence

of organic material. The results were very mixed with an unsettlingly high number of samples showing very high counts of bacteria, despite supposedly being clean. The conclusion was that whilst the process can work, it leaves open the risk of human error, whether that be missing an area or it simply not being feasible to continually clean every surface. OneSpray offer a solution to help mitigate that risk, with innovative antimicrobial technology that is proven extensively to protect surfaces for up to 30 days from application. Groups of Care Homes are already using their solutions, alongside major transport networks, airlines and airports amongst others business worldwide, across multiple sectors. Containing no alcohol or harmful chemicals, and proven against EN14476 and EN1500, the unique longevity of the products will help protect staff and residents alike. For more information, contact or 03400 577 148. Alternatively, you can visit their website at See the advert on page 43.

Elgin Bay Offer The Mac500 Proven Solution to Combating Coronavirus invented a miracle cure for coronavirus that can stand alone, but we may have one of the weapons needed to reduce the infection”, explains Michael Kløcker, JIMCO A/S.

Elgin Bay are the UK suppliers of Jimco UVC and Ozone technology. The Mac500 is an air purifier developed and manufactured in Denmark by Jimco, that reduces viruses in the air. With the air purifier the reduction of viruses is both fast and significant, achieving 99.99% reduction within 3 hours. A study from a technological institute in Denmark states that The MAC500 effectively reduces viruses from the air. In rooms where the air purifier is in use, The study documents that the MAC500 reduces viruses in the air by 89 percent in one hour. After two hours, the virus is reduced by 99 percent, and after three hours, the reduction is 99.9 percent. “We have tested the air purifier on a virus that is 7-10 times more resistant to UV light than coronavirus. The results of this study are very uplifting right now, because we are all trying our best to avoid infections”, says Michael Kløcker, business unit manager at JIMCO A/S. The MAC500 air purifier works partly by burning harmful particles such as viruses with the help of UV-C rays, and partly by letting out a small amount of ozone, which can destroy bacteria and viruses. The amount of ozone is equal to the amount occurring in nature by the Sun. “You can use the air purifier everywhere, and our greatest customer segments are businesses and industries where it is difficult to keep distance or where customers are at a greater risk”. “It is very common to use air purifiers in Care Homes, Hospitals, Dentists and in private homes where you feel extra exposed”. “The aim is to strengthen the indoor climate as well as limiting the spread of viruses through the air”, Matthew Cove, MD at Elgin Bay explains. “We are very happy that we are able to offer a product that can help both companies and individuals in the fight against the spread of coronavirus. We have not

About MAC500: The MAC500 air purifier has been on the market for nearly 20 years and is already operating in many homes and workplaces around the world. Other benefits include: • Reduction in Virus/Bacteria/Fungi • Reduction in Odour within the room • Reduces indoor air pollution and eliminates the sources of headaches, respiratory problems (COPD/Asthma) For further information, please contact Matthew Cove on 07920 254379 or The report can be requested by contacting or downloaded here: 07_ms2-test.pdf


HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Why Care Homes Need Change from Traditional Toxic Cleaning Products to a More Sustainable, Safe and Low-Cost Alternative By Chris Speak, Managing Director, Purozo Limited ( If we took the time to analyse our present cleaning regimes, it would unearth some startling facts. Firstly, the huge cost and quantity being spent in our homes on a range of cleaning and sanitising products is adding pressure to budgets which are already over stretched, as well as putting more strain on our wonderful

care staff. Secondly, the extra storage you need for multiple chemicals, the plastic waste they produce and the worry of running out of stock also presents additional challenges.


Aside from all of the challenges listed above, there are unfortunately much more worrying aspects to a home full of chemical cleaning products that we need to consider - especially when it comes to the safety of our precious residents and dedicated staff. In an enclosed environment within a care home, what effect can these toxic chemicals have on an already fragile community? We already know that harmful side effects of chemicals can include aggravating chest conditions, skin issues, and allergies for both staff and residents. Although we try to eliminate these

possibilities with COSHH training, it still does not remove the danger. In this new dawn of environmental awareness, we still continue to pump all these toxic chemicals down our drains and into our rivers, lakes and coastline, and for what reason?


Can we do something about it? Of course we can. Joining many care homes from across the UK in switching from toxic chemicals to the chemical-free Tersnao Lotus Pro will create a more sustainable, toxin free home, which is safe for your residents and staff – and at a fraction of your current cost. There is also no requirement for COSHH training and you will be creating a fresh, clean and sanitised home. Why wouldn’t you want to change? For more information please visit our website or contact us on 01594 546250 |

Angloplas Dispensers Help Reduce the Risk of Cross Infection Angloplas are a UK manufacturer who specialise in producing dispensers for the health and hygiene industry. Although these are designed to keep the workplace tidy and uncluttered they are, more importantly, built knowing the control of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) are a priority for healthcare providers, and who are employing a combination of infection prevention and control strategies, including hand hygiene, cleaning, training and the adoption of new technologies, to tackle the problem. As a result, a wide range of infection control products and technologies are emerging on the market, including antimicrobial technology. Angloplas’ range of dispensers are produced in the world’s first proven Antimicrobial PVC with silver ion technology and which is

Clean Air Solutions There are a lot of cost-effective equipment that could be put in place quickly and easily to actively assist in lowering or eliminating the virus contaminated particles of any room helping eliminate the spread of viruses. Air and Surface Treatments are the most effective method for treating all manner of smells, viruses, volatile organic compounds and all other airborne and surface contaminants. These type of unit utilise either O³ (Ozone) or OH (Hydroxyl) Ozone is created when the kind of oxygen we breathe O² is split apart into single oxygen atoms. Single oxygen atoms can re-join to make O², or they can join with O² molecules to make ozone (O³) when the energy is available to do so. Ozone breaks down when it reacts with other compounds, harmful viruses included.

exclusive to Angloplas. This helps reduce the risk of cross infection by stopping the growth of bacteria and mould and works continuously for the lifetime of the product, reducing levels of bacteria such as MRSA, E Coli, Legionella, Salmonella and mould by up to 99.99%. For non-clinical environments Angloplas has recently launched its new Budget Range of products which are made to the same exacting standards as the antimicrobial protected ones but with lower price tags. You can order Angloplas products directly from its website by going to and clicking Hospital, Health and Hygiene or by using the Quick Response code. The machines that produce Ozone in higher effective concentrations must be used in unoccupied spaces, high concentrations of Ozone can cause issues with the respiratory system, with this said they are extremely effective at sanitising a space (airborne and surfaces) after a manual clean down. Hydroxyl machines are by far the most user friendly, firstly because they’re more adaptable and easily integrate into our normal daily lives. Much like the Ozone units, a volatile OH compound is produced which reacts with all airborne contaminants. The OH compound reacts by oxidizing and this cascade reaction will continue until the area is free of contaminants, the OH particles will then simply become H²O once there is nothing left to react with. Hydroxyl units are safe for use in constantly occupied rooms and will provide the constant decontamination required in a busy office. For more information please contact Axair Fans to discuss your requirements. 01782 349439


HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Rentokil Initial Launches VIRUSKILLER Air Purifier That Kills Coronavirus in the Air* TM

Rentokil Initial has announced an agreement to distribute VIRUSKILLERTM, air purification technology which is proven to kill 99.9999% of viruses with a single air pass, including Coronavirus. It comes as the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently updated information on its website that recognises Coronavirus can be transmitted from person to person via aerosols in the air[1]. The VIRUSKILLERTM technology will hopefully play an important role in the nation’s Coronavirus recovery, helping businesses and public facilities minimise the risk of airborne transmission when they are allowed to resume normal operations. Despite WHO recognition of Coronavirus transmission (air to person) via aerosols, research commissioned by Rentokil Initial[2] reveals a lack of awareness of this risk amongst the British public. Just over one in five (22%) of Brits revealed they are concerned about catching Coronavirus from contaminated air. Interestingly, the research did find that over three in five (64%) were more concerned about the air quality in indoor environments now, than they were prior to the pandemic. As a result of these concerns, 59% of consumers believe air purification systems should be mandatory in public buildings and educational facilities. Additionally, 41% believe that facemasks do not do enough to protect them against catching Coronavirus from contaminated air. Unlike traditional air purifiers that can ‘trap’ airborne particles and microbes, the VIRUSKILLERTM also decontaminates the air, by not only

trapping but also killing airborne viruses, bacteria** and fungi. When placed correctly the unit takes control of the airflow in a room, drawing contaminated air in from the ‘breathing zone’ and then releasing fresh, clean air back into the breathing zone. As well as deploying carbon and HEPA filters, VIRUSKILLERTM uses patented ultraviolet-C (UVC) lamps, surrounded by a mesh of chromed nano titanium dioxide tube filters that are polished with activated carbon. The emitted UV light reacts with the mesh, and in a process called ‘photocatalytic oxidation’ produces hydroxyl radicals, which acts as a disinfectant and breaks down the organic molecules. This all in one solution effectively filters dirty air, neutralises toxic air and decontaminates sick air. Dr Colm Moore, Area Technical Manager UK, Ireland and the Baltics, Rentokil Initial says: “Unlike traditional air purification systems, the UVC technology provides a photochemical deconstruction of the RNA and DNA of microorganisms, deactivating their reproductive processes so that the Coronavirus, and other viruses, can no longer spread, before the air is released back into the room. “Its ability to kill 99.9999% of viruses with a single air pass, including Coronavirus, is what really sets this technology apart. Take the following scenario for example, if you had one million viruses passing through a VIRUSKILLERTM, just a single virus would be recirculated, compared to the 500 viruses that would pass through when using a traditional filtration device (99.95%).”

Jamie Woodhall, UK Technical & Innovation Manager, Rentokil Initial comments: “Following the positive news surrounding several Coronavirus vaccines on the near horizon, VIRUSKILLERTM is another landmark development in the ongoing effort to battle Coronavirus. “VIRUSKILLERTM could play an important role as people look to resume their normal lives, providing confidence and peace of mind that airborne transmission is far less likely in indoor environments where the technology is installed. It could also help eliminate scenarios that we see in so many schools across the country, where students have to sit in cold classrooms because the windows must be kept open to maintain airflow. “This solution will play a crucial role in helping to break the ‘chain of infection’, by taking control of the airflow in a room – drawing contaminated air out of the breathing zone and releasing fresh, clean air back into the environment. Once installed, businesses should still ensure that proper hand hygiene is encouraged among workers and visitors, and that social distancing measures are practiced.” For further information, please visit * When independently tested against Coronavirus DF2 (a surrogate for Coronavirus), Adenovirus, Influenza and Polio, the unit was found to kill 99.9999% of viruses on a single air pass. [1] [1] Research conducted by Opinium LLP for Rentokil Initial. Conducted 20-22 November 2020 sampling 2,000 adults in the UK **When independently tested against reference bacteria (Klebsiella pneumoniae, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Staphyloccus aureus subsp. Aureus, Streptoccocus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes, Escherichia coli), the unit was found to kill 99.9999% of bacteria on a single air pass.

Antimicrobial Handle Helps Boost Care Homes’ Active Protection Methods Against Bacteria Care homes can now help to reduce the spread of bacteria using a maintenance-free, antimicrobial surface for door hardware. HOPPE has developed SecuSan®, an antibacterial and antimicrobial surface for door and window handles, to help ensure high hygiene standards wherever people are present in large numbers. SecuSan® immediately suppresses the growth of pathogens on the handle on a lasting basis. Independent tests have proved that SecuSan® reduces microbial growth by more than 99%. Andy Matthews, head of sales at HOPPE (UK), said: “SecuSan® is ideal for facilities managers trying to

take care of high traffic buildings. In these types of buildings where there is so much to monitor and keep clean, SecuSan® helps to maintain high hygiene standards. It actively fights bacteria and fungi from the moment it is installed and is wear-free on a long term basis. This is particularly important in care homes where residents are much more vulnerable.” The surface can be applied to a wide range of popular HOPPE handle designs including the Amsterdam and Paris series, all available in aluminium silver and stainless steel. It is also covered by HOPPE’s 10-year operational guarantee that applies to all HOPPE door and window handles.

For more information on SecuSan®, please contact Andy on or 01902 484 400.




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Why eLearning Is Part of the ‘New Normal’ The rapid turnover of staff in the care sector is an established and unfortunate fact. A state of play that care providers are forced to contend with constantly. Not only is this the cause of countless lost hours, but it also takes a hefty financial toll too. Skills for Care have estimated the cost to recruit, train and induct new carers at £3,642 per care worker. With a significant portion coming directly from training costs. Prior to COVID-19, forward thinking care providers were already starting to use eLearning instead of or as a compliment to face to face training. The current situation has compelled care providers eLearning the most sensible way to go for most if not all care providers.

founded eLFY. Thirteen years later and eLFY is now used in over 5,000 registered care locations care across the UK and is the leading eLearning system for social care in the UK. What people love is the interactive learning, the ease of use and access anywhere, the comprehensive course library and of course, the much fairer pricing model. In the intervening years, the eLFY team have worked with experts in care sector training, regulations, and compliance and in eLearning design. develop a truly unbeatable learning library. Here are just some of the course categories on offer: • Mandatory courses (including infection prevention and control) • Care Certificate • Managerial courses • Clinical courses

WHAT’S eLEARNING FOR YOU AND WHY IS IT DIFFERENT? While most eLearning platforms charge by the individual, eLearning for You, or eLFY for short, charges by the course or for an allocation of transferable user licenses. Crucially, this means that when a new carer replaces an outgoing one, they simply take on the leaving carer’s learning license, so you don’t need to pay again. That’s because we understand how the care sector works at the levels of senior management and the day-to-day, on the ground. eLFY’s founder, Rob Cousins, has operated his own care homes for over 17 years. Relatively soon after entering the care sector Rob saw the need for a more affordable, flexible and efficient way to train staff. In 2007 he

• Non-clinical courses • Ancillary courses • Advanced care courses

NEW HORIZONS A more recent addition is eCompetency. Designed by social care experts, eCompetency uses gamification to create a virtual and interactive environment. Learners are presented with real-world scenarios to properly assess their decision making and competency. eLFY’s rapid growth and reputation among care providers led them to be acquired by the Access Group earlier this year. eLFY is now delivered through Access Workspace, the unique single sign-on system that brings all your care software together in the same place. This joining together of forces will make it easier for Access’ 8,000+ care locations to take advantage of eLFY, particularly at a time when distanced learning seems like the only sensible option. Meanwhile care providers using eLFY are seeing exactly what else Access can do for them, whether it is electronic care plans, scheduling, medicine management, compliance, recruitment, screening, or something else, Access should have what you need. What eLFY users say: “We have been using eLearning For You for several years now and it’s helped to change the way we manage our training and develop our staff teams.” – Frank Walsh, Workforce Development Manager, Potens “Very easy online platform to use, especially on mobile. The content of the course was well presented and comprehensive.” – Iona Cioaca, Registered Manager, Runwood Homes Find out more about eLFY or book a demo at or call 01202 725080 (Option 4).

Turn To Tech To Relieve Pressure and Improve Experience By Stephanie Vaughan-Jones, Moneypenny ( matter how busy staff get. Callers will always get through to someone friendly and professional, who understands and represents a care home’s individual brand.

of hours. Technology has the power to help overcome this mounting pressure and leave carers to focus on what’s really important – looking after those in need. Here, Stephanie Vaughan-Jones, Head of Healthcare Sector at Moneypenny – the leading outsourced communications provider – explains how.



The care sector has faced enormous pressures this year – all under the spotlight of the world’s media. The outbreak of Covid-19 has rewritten the rules and for care homes, it’s been a battle to protect residents and staff, while continuing to provide quality care and communicate clearly with concerned families. The pandemic has had an impact on communications habits, too. During times of unrest, people naturally want to reach out for support so the phone has become a lifeline for many seeking updates on loved ones that they’re unable to visit. Living in a 24/7 society, there’s round the clock demand and care staff are forced to juggle external communications with delivering care which can be extremely overwhelming – particularly out

Being accessible for residents’ families is a crucial part of running a care home – it’s what helps to make people connected with their loved one’s care givers. The telephone is the primary means of communication and has been critical during the pandemic with call volumes increasing significantly. It’s not just about maintaining a family connection, there’s an important commercial benefit to being readily available. Covid-19 means there’s an increased demand for care services and the phone is a major channel for new enquiries. If you’re accessible, friendly and professionally over the phone, it gives an indicator as to the values you have as a care home – you can not only put families at ease but also fill vacant beds quickly. Society has adapted to digital communication but there’s no replacement for human interaction. The introduction of alternative methods has simply rendered ‘real life’ conversation even more valuable. A phone call offers assurance and familiarity that you only get from speaking with a human being – particularly during times of need. That’s why being able to answer and handle calls quickly and efficiently is essential – it’s unacceptable to let the phone ring out or leave callers on hold for extended amounts of time. If this happens, messages aren’t relayed or calls missed – it starts to impact reputation and this can be hard to come back from. By outsourcing telephone answering – either on an overflow basis or entirely – care homes can rest assured that they’ll never miss a call – no

Another way of streamlining customer experience is through the inclusion of live chat on a website. Consumers carry out lots of research online and there’s a growing expectation that they can communicate with your brand this way. The instant nature of live chat is what has made it so popular. Web visitors appreciate the opportunity to ask quick questions, right there and then, whilst browsing online. Others simply prefer not to talk on the phone and favour the messenger-style experience live chat offers. People expect a wide variety of channels through which they can communicate – live chat is still a relatively untapped area for care homes but it can be a valuable part of this solution. It provides an instant and easy way to get in touch and triages enquiries to keep volume away from the phones. Live chat technology generates six times more website engagement and encourages visitors who wouldn’t otherwise take the time to email or call, to engage with you. The solution also stores important details securely, allowing for a more informed and seamless follow-up. The reality is that we’ll be feeling the impact of the pandemic for months to come, so increased pressure on phones and other channels will remain. If standards are slipping, care homes can address these issues easily by looking to outsourced tech. Telephone answering support allows care providers to focus on the clinical aspect of their role and live chat is proven to improve digital presence and keep call volumes down. In difficult times, communicating well with the outside world offers an opportunity to stand out. It goes hand in hand with customer care and gives people confidence in the efficiency and quality of the service you provide.

The Future of Health and Social Care in a Post-Pandemic World By Steve Morgan, Partnership Director, Agilisys ( Covid-19 has turned the daily rhythms and routines of everybody upside down, not least of which those within the nursing and residential care home sector. Health and social care, weakened by years of chronic underfunding and rising demand, was already staring into an abyss. Whilst the newly announced vaccine provides hope, there is still plenty that the sector needs to do to assure its future. What does the future look like for health and social care? How will the ways care is delivered change in 2021 and beyond? And, crucially, what impact will this have on patients?

THE CONTINUED DISPLACEMENT OF TECHNOLOGY By deploying technology across people's homes and linking it with the digitised front door, a large proportion of attended care at home can be displaced, making large savings and improving the quality of service delivered. For example, sensors like oximeters or door contact sensors that trigger an exception when dementia sufferers open doors at unexpected times, can reduce the number of home visits dramatically.

CREATING A CARE BUBBLE Vulnerable people are alone now more than ever, and health care teams are struggling to keep up with the demand. Technology can help to create and connect support teams whether that be family members, third sector organisations or charitable groups. Technology can account for a patient’s routine, medication and needs. Plus, it can enable a community of volunteers, family members, friends and neighbours to help with day-to-day care. Therefore, creating a support bubble around at-risk individuals. This bubble could consist of 10,000 volunteers or organisations that bring different skills to the table, in addition to any formal care that would still be required.

SAFETY IN NUMBERS There needs to be additional targeted investment post-pandemic to finally integrate health and social care throughout the UK. It is a case of safety in numbers. However, there are still significant technology and data challenges to bringing residential and domiciliary care into the 21st century. And there remains basic technology issues that need urgent attention. As recently as last year, only 75% of residential care homes had an Internet connection.

CHANGING THE ROLE OF CONTACT CENTRES The wider changes to working habits will impact the delivery of social care. Due to contact centre headcounts being reduced as home working takes over, the focus will be on technology to virtually bring people together. If an issue needs to be raised that's associated with one part of provisioning or social care, workers need to be able to do so automatically and immediately. Traditional contact centres who operate an ‘inbound’ contact model must now change to a proactive ‘outbound’ contact model; making video calls, verifying current situations and using the proactive support bubble to ensure closer integration with primary care.

TAKING A HOLISTIC VIEW We are already seeing increased interest in chatbots to manage inbound demand and expect this to accelerate further, supported by more complex Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation led solutions. It is likely that there is a large amount of pent-up demand for care – people have battened down the hatches and held off making requests but as the world returns to normal, they will do so. Therefore, the opportunities to signpost and manage that demand by automation may be required. What has been missing when looking at social care in the past is for somebody to sit back and take the holistic view; looking at how existing technologies come together to deliver the outcomes that we need. Get the technology angle right and you can deliver integrated care. The pressures on the sector are severe – and have been seriously exacerbated by the pandemic – however the vaccine and the re-emergence of technology solution provides hope.


TECHNOLOGY & SOFTWARE CARE VISION Friends of the Elderly Selects Softworks Software

At Care Vision we believe care may never be the same again. Outstanding care truly is at the heart of everything we do, with a clear purpose of Less Admin, More Care. Growing up and working in a family owned care home, Rishi Jawaheer saw at first hand the main needs in the care sector; to cut down on the burden of manual paperwork while maintaining good practice and to encourage people to become more involved in care. Using his experience as a registered manager, with some of the smartest minds in tech, Rishi was driven to create Care Vision, an all in one cloudbased care management, system incorporating all your care and admin into one easy to use system. Presently the care industry has our work cut out to keep in line with statutory and legislative compliance in addition to the essential everyday tasks of looking after our clients. Care Vision acts as a bridge which uses technology that organises care work, ensures a safer, better and more intimate experience for every member of the community, from administration, the carer to family, friends and the people we care for. Care Vision provides An easy to use system for carers, managers, relatives; bringing care and admin into one platform; to manage time, attendance, rota, HR, housekeeping, maintenance and much more An E-mar system, fully compliant with NICE, reducing medication errors and keeping people safe An intuative daily notes section that can be completed at the point of service quickly and accurately A pictorial food order system that allows the individual to choose from a menu even if they forgot what a meal looks like Daily reminders in the form of care routines which reminds staff of key aspects of care for the individual

Care Plans / Risk assessments/ Life stories which allows you to customise care plans to specifically suit the person’s needs. Reminding all about one’s history and who Is important in one’s life A family app that allows families to keep track of their loved one’s wellbeing through videos and pictures, which has been essential during the pandemic. Care Vision gives you the freedom to access it using mobile, tablet, laptop, or pc in real time whilst safely securing and storing data. within the platform. Built flexibly to adapt to services of any size, large or small, Care Vision’s structured, interactive features engage carers in sharing information with the end-user and their family. Registered manager and director of Summerhayes Care says “The carers have taken to Care Vision like a duck to water and the information that we are gathering is streets ahead of the previous system we used we are very impressed. They make it easy to understand and nothing is any trouble. I highly recommend taking a look at this system if you are wanting to meet your quality standards and CQC requirements”.

Nationally our data has shown that working with homes Care Vision can save 2-4 hours every week per carer by reducing tasks that could be better spent with the people we care for. As both carers and developers, we are unique in our focus on developing software that benefits the care sector. This allows us to continually develop and update software for our clients. The Care Vision team would love to talk to you about what the system can do for you, come and join us, we believe the future of Social care is in good hands with “Care vision” Contact us at or call 0208 768 9809

Friends of the Elderly has been supporting and caring for older people since 1905.Their Care Homes provide residential, dementia, nursing and respite care dedicated to providing quality care with dignity. The organisation is passionate about its work and strives to provide quality care while continually evolving. As part of this ethos the organisation went to market looking for a solution to help transform and improve Employee Time, Attendance, Rostering and Skills Management within their network of Care Homes and after an extensive selection process selected Softworks. Commenting on the selection Sharon Nunn, Group Financial Controller of Friends of the Elderly said “Last Summer we identified that implementing a Workforce Management System to manage our employee Time, Attendance, Rostering and Skills would bring significant improvements to the everyday running of our Care Homes. We were using spreadsheets to manage key areas such as hours worked rosters, leave, absences, holiday requests and skills and this was becoming very

Care Control Systems Care Control Systems Ltd is proud to create the UK's best Care Management Software designed for use within all standard, niche and complex care settings. Care Control has been in constant development since 2010 and was made commercially available in 2016. Since then we have expanded across hundreds of providers within the UK and are well recognised as leaders in our field. Care Control is used by over 15,000 care professionals daily across the UK in multiple service types ensuring their services have live,

complex and labour intensive.” “We knew streamlining and automating processes in these areas and removing time consuming paper-based admin would give both Managers and Healthcare Staff better oversight and more time to focus on the provision of excellent care within our Care Homes.” “After meeting with a number of solution providers we chose Softworks because they really understood our requirements as a Care Home provider. They had a proven track record and were ready, willing and able to configure their system to our specific requirements rather than us needing to alter our work practices to fit in with their system.” “Aside from this we were impressed by the extensive functionality offered by the Softworks Workforce Management Software such as the complete HR module, Skills, Training and Expense Management modules, Compliance, Employee Self-Service and Payroll Integration.” See the advert on the facing page for details,

up-to-date essential information. Located in Tavistock, Devon our expert team is comprised of numerous industry specialists with many years of direct, hands-on care experience. This is one of our key USP’s. Our Managing Director, Matt Luckham started the creation of the original Care Control Software in 2010 with the aim to provide essential, accurate information for Spring House Care House in Devon. Matt had purchased Spring House in 2010. Matt developed the software and then spent 6 years proving its functionality within Spring House. It soon became apparent the software could add real value to other service providers and after numerous requests we

decided to commercialise the software. In 2016 Care Control Systems Ltd was founded and since then has gone from strength-tostrength with exponential growth. We now have an exceptional team of more than 20 staff who have over 70 years of direct hands-on care experience between them. On top of this our team of Software Developers are experts in their field and are constantly developing our products to ensure they offer everything our customers expect in what is a particularly complex sector. 2020 has been a record year for Care Control with record numbers of customers choosing us, office expansion, overseas sales and an ever growing team to name just a few things. We are so excited for the future! Visit or see the advert below for further details.

Reliable Technology Can Be the Difference Between Your Care Home Getting By or Excelling As a healthcare professional, your goal is to deliver the best care for your residents, but you can’t focus on them if you’re constantly struggling with unreliable, under-performing technology. Here at EC Computers we specialise in technology management for Care Home. We take care of all your IT, preventing technical issues from ever happening, and providing powerful solutions that help you streamline operations and improve staff and resident experiences. Our OnePoint Solutions improve both staff and resident satisfaction for Care Homes, these


Managed IT Services Office 365 Communications and Document storage Data Backup Solutions Virtualization for Groups requiring on premise servers VoIP Solutions to provide flexible working and cheaper calls

Desktop and Server Support Cybersecurity Solutions to keep you important data safe Data Cabling and Infrastructure planning Software applications - CRM - Database Custom apps Would your Care Home benefit from Managed IT Services? We believe every Care Home can achieve more with help from a Managed Services


TECHNOLOGY & SOFTWARE Workforce Scheduling Solutions Workforce Scheduling Solutions deliver Electronic Time & Attendance systems worldwide, using the latest Face Recognition technology.

Why should care homes move from paper to electronic time sheets The industry is under considerable financial pressures. An efficient electronic booking on/off system that will schedule, provide budgets, calculate hours worked, overtime and absence such as sickness and holiday entitlement will save Time and Money.

How is time and money saved by doing things electronically?

Collecting payroll information from paper timesheets can be slow, prone to errors, and very labour intensive. Staff rosters can be produced as far in advance as practical and accurate within budgeted hours. Staff book on and off-duty electronically, thus eliminating any time errors. Wage queries are virtually eliminated and immediate checks can be made without wading through reams of paper which invariably are inaccurate, misfiled or even 'lost".

There are many systems on the market - Why facial

recognition is important and how it works Some systems use tokens, which can be lost or left at home, requiring management involvement in the booking on/off procedure. Fingerprint systems can be beaten and Social media is awash with ways to copy fingerprints. Face recognition combined with a staff PIN is simple to use and manage using touch screen technology and web cams. Staff see their image displayed immediately when booking on or off and confirms their identity visually. It provides the best deterrent available as it builds a greater 'image knowledge’ of each employee, a picture is worth a thousand words. Eliminates 'buddy punching' where employees can book colleagues on/off duty using someone’s tokens, swipe card or even fingerprint.

How is data protected? With the correct security setup computer systems provide more data protection than paper-based records which can be easily removed or stolen. GDPR covers all data including paper records and therefore the chances of infringing the rules and incurring fines is greater with paper. Visit

Alpaka at Askham Village Askham Village Community is a group of specialist homes which provide professional nursing care to young adults and the elderly. Growing organically over the last 30 years, means internal processes have evolved to keep pace with regulatory requirements and the needs of a growing organisation.

Paper-based reporting and recording systems were the norm for rotas, timesheets, annual leave and absence as well as training status and other personnel information. Alpaka software adoption proceeded in four stages, paced to match the staff expectations and available time. 1. Software Champions: An introduction to Staff data & Rotas 2. Management Team: Parallel working with old process and Alpaka 3. Employees: Presence app for clocking in and out with paper timesheets for comparison 4. No more paper, the full digital experience. Askham's 'challenge' is a common scenario in the care sector, mainly where businesses have grown and processes have remained manual and paper-based. It might seem a daunting task, but with the right technology, a digital transformation is possible and profitable. The full case study is available to read on Call Alpaka on 0203 286 6109 or email



Fall Savers - Affordable Fall Monitoring Solutions Fall Savers®, are an experienced market leading healthcare provider of resident safety solutions for over 15 years.


Call button Pager Floor sensor mat Wireless door/window exit alerts

Eliminate all cables with our new generation falls management solutions! Upgrade your falls programme with the latest technology from Fall Savers®. The NEW Fall Savers® Wireless eliminates the cord between the monitor and sensor pad. This results in less work for nursing staff, improved safety for patients and reduced wear and tear on sensor pads. Wireless advantages include the ability to use one monitor with two sensor pads simultaneously and support for many new wireless devices.

The TreadNought® Floor Sensor Pad is built to last with a durable construction that far out lasts the competition. Our anti-bacterial floor sensor pad is compatible with most nurse call systems or can be used with a portable pager to sound an alert when a person steps on to the sensor pad. Caregivers typically place the sensor pad at the bedside, in a doorway or other locations to monitor persons at risk for falls or wandering. An optional anti-slip mesh reduces the potential for slippage on hard surface floors.

Benefits include:

Features include:

Safer for patients; less work for staff Bed and chair pads available One monitor works with two sensor pads Integrates with most nurse call systems A variety of options, including:


Connects directly to most nurse call systems High Quality anti-bacterial Floor Sensor Pad Large Size Pad: Measures (L) 91cm x (H) 61cm Options (sold separately): Anti-slip mesh for hard surface floors

Aid Call Nurse Call Systems Aid Call has been leading the way in wireless nurse-call systems for over 40 years. We offer a wide range of products and bespoke solutions. All of our products have been developed following feedback from our customers who are the forefront of care delivery. We tailor our offering specifically to each individual customers require-

Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.

life easier and more efficient for your staff and are simple for residents to use too. The combination of flexibility and functionality allows you to focus on the most effective care delivery, rather than being constrained by the limitations of technology. Our nurse call systems are not only powerful, functional and reliable, but also robust enough to

ments to ensure you get the perfect system for

withstand the demands of a care or nursing home

your needs.

environment of any size or scale.

Aid Call wireless nurse call systems can make

See the advert on page 1 for further information.


NURSE CALL AND FALL PREVENTION A Digital Future of Care in a Post COVID-19 Era After 50 years being at the forefront of advances in Nurse Call solutions, Courtney Thorne continue to develop solutions which now seem more relevant and important than at any time before. The introduction of digital care planning and medication solutions has enabled forward thinking care homeowners to go paperless, giving more accurate, timely and readily available information on those in their care. These same digital devices, tablets and smart mobiles can now be used to view calls and emergencies generated by a Courtney Thorne nurse call system. Both new installations and many existing Courtney Thorne systems can benefit with calls being delivered straight to the carer. Monitoring of resident’s care planning and medications are just two areas that reduces the amount of paperwork and administration, freeing up carers to spend more time actually caring. The monitoring of the caring staff themselves can become arduous and time consuming for management, not with a Courtney Thorne nurse call solution. The introduction of Staff ID tags of fobs is nothing new, there are so called systems on the market which use simple magnets which carers need to remember to press onto a room sensor when they attend, and again when they leave a resident’s room. With Courtney Thorne’s Altra Tag the process of logging who attended, what time they attended and how long they remained in the resident’s room is all logged automatically and seamlessly. No longer are there management and staff disputes about forgetting to “fob in/fob out”. The volume and detail of the data captured automatically by a Courtney Thorne nurse call system is vast. All the data is available to management using the reporting function built into the main touch screen server. However, where visiting the home is difficult due to COVID-19 restrictions or time and distance problems,

TumbleCare from Easylink Medpage Limited T/A Easylink UK was established in 1984 after the invention of an alarm clock to wake deaf people. The “Shake Awake” set a new precedent in quality standards for products designed for sensory care, notoriously at the time – rubbish. The company invented a new device for the detection of nocturnal epileptic seizures in 1994, which also set a new precedent for quality, especially after the company achieved certified medical accreditation. We could boast and say we have supplied more seizure detection monitors than any other company in UK. You could say we are innovators; we are and very proud of it. To constantly adapt to changes in demands for care technologies, remain competitive and continue to develop new care solutions it takes more than intelligence, it takes passion.

owners and managers may find retrieving data difficult, resulting in a lack of monitoring and possible reduction in quality of care delivered. Courtney Thorne’s CT-Cloud service provides ready complied, detailed reports daily, coupled with a “live” view of all data contained in the server from any location with an internet connection. Carrying out regular checks on sleeping residents is time consuming and often counter-productive as residents often wake, have poor sleep and can even fall after attempting to use the toilet once awake. Acoustic monitoring means that only those who actually need assistance get it, those who are sound asleep do not get disturbed and carers can concentrate on more productive tasks. So, in this new COVID-19 and Digital world what other new solutions are on the horizon? Nurse call devices around a care home become intelligent enough to identify a resident in need. Already we can measure changes in levels of noise, but monitoring light, temperature coupled with wearable devices monitoring vital signs, now a deterioration in a resident’s wellbeing can raise an alert or be recorded. A resident ‘connected’ with a wearable device can have their movement, location, heart rate, sleep, blood pressure etc., monitored automatically. Instead of intrusive, often unsocial physical monitoring, at-risk residents have vital signs checked and recorded continuously. If an emergency occurs, the nurse call system will still summon help, only now one of its key functions will be to record, store and make available critical data. Thereby reducing the touch points, minimising transmission of disease, freeing up carers time and providing a safer and healthier life for both residents and staff. For further information visit or see the advert on this page.

Lotus Care Technology The NurseAlert pressure mat has been one of the most successful floor pressure mats due to it being non slip and carpeted which makes it feel very natural under a residents foot. Lotus Care Technology Ltd have many other fall saving devices that can give you peace of mind whilst caring for this at risk of falls.  Having many years of experience in

fitting and maintaining Nurse Call Systems helps the guys at Lotus Care Technology understand that every home is different and has different needs. They can specify not only the best system for the environmental factors in the home but also take into consideration the best products that will make your carers and nurses jobs that little bit easier. Visit for details.

Despite the COVID-19 lockdown, failing economy, factories closing and international shipping facing the worst crisis ever known, we have battled through. At the start of the lockdown we supplied the NHS and Local Authorities with over 2000 bed occupancy detection alarm systems, many of them used to enable long term patients to be discharged from hospital to free up beds for COVID victims. Independent living support was and is essential during this pandemic. Now we launch our new brand. TumbleCare. The TumbleCare brand is a range of fall detection and prevention products focussing on affordable quality and product performance. The products are tough, easy to set, use and provide carers with reliable advance warning notification of potential falls. Visit our website. Firstly, you’ll be amazed at the variety of care solutions we offer, then blown away by our realistically fair pricing. Visit or see the advert on page 45 for details.






have spares, enhancements and expertise for wired and wireless systems abandoned by the original manufacturer, whoever they are.

Call us on 01252-340220 We can give most systems a new lease of life and maintain them into the future. Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.

Wireless Fall Prevention

By Ben Kilbey – Business Development Manager, Spearhead Healthcare

The last thing any care home wants to have to deal with is an elderly resident falling in their home. However, with over 255,000 hospital admissions in England a year relating to the elderly suffering injury after a fall, being alert and aware as soon as a fall happens is critically important in the administration of aid; as well as helping reduce emotional distress. For years, the care industry has used a tremendous range of call alert solutions to help care home staff respond to these falls quickly and easily. The most popular and regularly used of these are systems which plug in to nurse call systems. Nonetheless, these come with their own issues and can often create their own risks in regard to falling; largely in the use of trailing cables that need to be plugged in to make them work. These potential trip hazards can cause the exact issues they are trying to prevent. But with new innovations come new solutions, and we are increasingly seeing a range of wireless solutions that provide a variety of benefits. Below we list things to look out for when selecting these systems:


When looking at a wireless solution, make sure it truly is wireless and that any receivers, or sending features on the items are contained and are not left loose where someone can catch a foot on it, or accidently rip it out.

Edison Telecom

We here at Edison Telecom Ltd have been providing specialist solutions to your call system requirements tailor-made to each customers needs for over 25 years, says director Bob Johnson. Is your current Nurse Call “legacy”, obsolete, so full of software bugs or commercially not viable for your current supplier/maintainer to maintain? We may have just the part and expertise that you are looking for to give your nurse call a further exten-


Care home staff cannot be chained to their desk and need to be checking on residents and conducting all the duties that are required to create a smooth-running home, filled with happy residents. A wireless alert that can be carried in a pocket allows the user to respond as swiftly as possible to potential falls, helping homes provide the highest level of care. A centralized alert system is an option that also presents many benefits, as homes can ensure that the right person in the right place is alerted in a timely manner. Making sure that a system works both centrally and on the move, giving you the best range of options to help provide a high level of care.


While this might very well be viewed as a smaller issue, nurse call systems come with a huge variety of plug types; and ensuring that your receivers have the correct plugs for your call system is key.


Make sure the system you choose is as unobtrusive as possible. Often fall prevention equipment is designed to be as hidden as possible. Should the item be particularly obvious make sure you are happy it fits as well as possible into the decor of the room it sits in and think about choosing a floormat that corresponds with the flooring in the room e.g. wood effect vinyl or carpet. Spearhead are proud to distribute the entire Alerta

sion to life, adds Bob, “Edison will treat your nurse call with the same compassion that you give to those in your care. There will come a time when your equipment is beyond repair but Edison are experts in extending the life of obsolete systems.”


TRAINING Free 30 Day No-Obligation Trial Access to Our High Speed Training Endorsed By Skills for Care ESS Care Industry-Leading TENDERTRACKER 100’s of Care Funding Opportunities When you subscribe we will give you a free no-obligation one-month trial of the ESS TENDERTRACKER. PLUS Free access to accredited online Level 2 CARE CERTIFICATE COURSES plus many others once your full membership is confirmed at the end of your 30 day Free Trial Period. Monthly Subscribers access to 5 Free courses at ESS Online Learning worth a minimum of £210 Annual Subscribers access to 10 Free courses at ESS Online Learning worth a minimum of £420 And remember our online learning offer includes 25+ courses which count towards the Level 2 Care Certificate. ESS Online Learning:

PLUS • Weekly priority notifications of tenders and funding opportunities • Daily notifications of your tender interest requests sent directly to your inbox • Access to supply chain funding opportunities • Access to the ESS Care bid writing team with in excess of over £350m bid wins Commercial Care Providers - We offer special discounted commercial rates for all our ESS Online Learning Courses enquire at: For further details, please email us at or call 01977 705203. Register on the ESS Care TENDERTRACKER for further details

Engage With Your Residents - In-House Practical Training Workshop Scripts Bring About Happy Days Happy Days Dementia Activities & Design has created a new range of engagement training scripts for residential care and dementia homes. The workshops are designed to be presented in-house, saving time and costs. Easy to follow training scripts are practical in nature and help care teams engage with elderly and people living with dementia. Through activity, discussions, roleplay and practise with nostalgic materials, carers can feel more equipped to engage and enrich social care. Packages include demonstration materials to use during your workshop. Training Scripts and engagement materials can be created to suit your organisation, care team requirements and resident interests. Ideal for home care services too - Help your carers engage

and create meaningful moments during visits. With Covid19’s restrictions and safety procedures, it makes sense to train your care teams on site. ‘Bringing your care teams together can build carer confidence, boost morale and uplift mood. If a carer feels good, this will reflect on the the person being cared for’ says Gillian Hesketh, MD of Happy Days Dementia Activities & Design. Passionate about helping people living with dementia to live well, Happy Days also supplies nostalgic displays, reminiscence baskets, conversation prompts and more - See The Carer front page or Shop Online: We accept NHS purchase order numbers and care home accounts. Phone Gillian direct on: 07971-953620 or see the advert on page 1.

High Speed Training is proud to announce that we’re a Skills for Care endorsed training provider! This means our online training courses make a significant difference, not only to the learner but also to the person accessing care and support. Skills for Care Endorsed Provider What Does it Mean for High Speed Training Learners? Our mission has always been to deliver training that helps people to be engaged, effective and safe in the career they’ve chosen. We work tirelessly to ensure all our online courses are relevant and meaningful to a variety of sectors and roles. Skills for Care endorsement is a trusted quality mark only awarded to the best learning and development providers within the social care sector. We welcome High Speed Training to Skills for Care

endorsement. They’ve demonstrated dedicated commitment to the core requirements, such as effective leadership and management, robust quality assurance, equal opportunities for staff development as well as keeping learners central to all learning and development. We look forward to working with High Speed Training in the future. Receiving Skills for Care endorsement is highly significant for our learners who work in social care and demonstrates our commitment to constantly providing the best training and support we possibly can. Businesses all over the world have been using their resources to help during the COVID-19 pandemic wherever they can. We worked hard to develop a course that would inform people how to use PPE safely. This information was so important that we gave the course away for free to those who work in front line healthcare. To this date, we have trained over 6,000 people in safe PPE practices for free. For more information and guidance related to COVID19, simply visit covid-19-courses-resources/

Care Certificate by Laser Learning During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees were furloughed, whilst others (such as those in Care Homes and the NHS) bravely worked on the frontline and continue to do so. Here at Laser Learning, we are proud to have supported both of these groups, in different ways. This was achieved through the Laser Care Certificate course and CPD short courses. The Laser Care Certificate course provides knowledge to cover every standard included in the official Skills for Care specification. Every lesson includes bespoke video tutorials specifically for the Care Certificate course, as well as reading materials and good practice examples. Furthermore, a mandatory quiz at the end of each lesson (which requires a 100% pass mark) ensures both competence and confidence. Managers are able to create their own accounts to enrol staff on the course and track their progress. All of the content is accessible remotely via computer, smartphone or tablet, enabling

care professionals to make progress towards the certificate in a way that suits their circumstances. Additionally, Laser delivers CPD short courses to help the ongoing development of skills and expertise of both furloughed staff, who had the silver lining of time on their side, as well as those working through the pandemic amidst concerns of job security. Two courses in particular – ‘Causes and Spread of Infection’ and ‘Infection Control and Prevention’ – were especially popular during this period. Unlimited use subscriptions are available at affordable rates, for organisations wishing to take advantage of a large number of short courses. Whether you are an owner, manager or independent learner, please don't hesitate to get in touch for a free demo of the Care Certificate course platform, and/or the CPD short course offering. The Laser Learning team can be contacted on or +44 (0)1753 584 112. See the advert on this page for further details.



Buying A Care Home – Issues To Look Out For By Derek Ching, partner in the commercial property team at Boyes Turner ( The care home market is expected to be buoyant in 2021. If you are considering buying a care home, there are various issues you should consider. Derek Ching partner in the commercial property team at Boyes Turner explains more. Anyone who is considering buying a care home needs to undertake thorough due diligence. This is always time well spent and will minimise the chance of potentially expensive surprises happening later on in the purchase process, or even after the deal has completed.

OVERHEADS An obvious starting point is for a potential buyer to look at the overheads of a care business. In doing this, it is important to look ahead and think about the impact that rising compliance standards may have. Staff overheads also need to be factored in, including increases in the minimum wage and other employment overheads. Will these increases be matched by an increase in income?

STAFFING Take time to consider staffing generally, including the impact of TUPE – the rules governing the transfer of staff – on the acquisition of a care business. Other questions to ask are if the business will be affected by changes to the immigration rules post-Brexit.

Consider the impact loss of key staff could have on the business. This will require contingency planning to ensure that key people don’t leave the business on day 1. Losing key staff could affect continuing Care Quality Commission registration and may also have a major impact on operational effectiveness. A key manager may hold the keys – both literally and metaphorically – to understanding how the business operates. A great way to understand a care business before buying it is by speaking to the manager, who may not be the owner. This may be delicate commercially, but without that opportunity, your understanding of the business may be impaired.

PROPERTY AND PLANNING ISSUES Another item on your due diligence list should be to review the adequacy of any planning consents and issues over securing planning for any building improvements or extensions that you may be thinking of carrying out. A review should be undertaken into the scope of the property title to ensure that no adverse third party rights or covenants exist, and that title restrictions do not impede any plans you may have for improvements. If the care home is held under a lease, it is important to thoroughly understand the controls imposed by the lease covenants on the operator of the business. This should include permitted use, controls on alterations, dealing with assignments, transfer of licences and the scope of repairing obligations. Where landlord’s consent to assignment is needed, does the entity acquiring the lease have the financial strength to satisfy their requirements? Ensure all necessary insurances can be put in place when required.

FINANCE If you are relying on bank or other external investment be aware that the lenders’ legal requirements will be uncompromising and allow no

Care Home Finance from Global Business Finance

Global assists clients throughout the U.K. who specialise in the healthcare sector to achieve their objectives of purchase, development and refinance. We have organised over £1.8bn for clients in the past 30 years, providing clients with competitively priced funding to refinance existing debt, ease cashflow and develop businesses further. From helping clients make their first purchase through to allowing groups to grow significantly in

size we assist at every stage of your business expansion. Every proposal is individual and deserves to be treated that way, so we hope you will allow us to be of assistance to you and call us to chat through your plans and requirements, I am sure we will be able to tailor a facility to your requirements. Call us on 01242 227172 or e-mail us at


A substantial Grade II Listed former manor house in grounds of over 5 acres. It has been used as a residential home in recent years and offers 36 single rooms, together with ancillary accommodation. The property requires refurbishment and redecoration throughout. Offers In Excess of £2,000,000.

Further details available

01782 713444 / 01785 850866

room to sort things out afterwards. This makes it imperative that sellers are required to supply every piece of supporting documentation needed by the lender, even if you don’t consider them of immediate concern. Approval in principle for funding is never unconditional. The problems and delays in the purchase process usually come in satisfying lenders pre-conditions. Demands for personal guarantees or secondary security often add to the timescale before funds can be released as well as add to the expenses of the transaction overall.

LOOK OUT FOR UNDERINVESTMENT When looking around the premises, look for signs of underinvestment or cost cutting, which may mean expensive catch-up investment later. This could include lack of maintenance and decoration, poor record keeping, inadequate support and training for staff, poor management, reduction in purchasing of supplies. Other issues to look out for are excessive dividends or repayment of director loans at the expense of reinvestment into the business. A detailed survey of condition is crucial. The survey should encompass asbestos, DDA compliance, electrical and gas safety and energy performance. Many deficiencies can be swept under the carpet and only get picked up later when major spending becomes necessary.

PLAN FOR AHEAD FOR CQC REGISTRATION Take time to understand any areas of improvement identified or outright non-compliances identified by CQC inspection reports and the implications for a new owner. This could be a sign of wider issues. Plan ahead for the CQC registration process to run smoothly. There are a lot of issues to consider before buying a care home but taking time to do this thoroughly at the start of the process will save you time and money later on.

Hinson Parry Hinson Parry offers a multi disciplinary property service providing a wide and comprehensive range of services to business and individuals. We are Chartered Surveyors, Auctioneers, Valuers, Compulsory Purchase and Compensation Consultants, Land and Estate Agents. Based in Staffordshire, in the heart of the

Midlands, Hinson Parry has a wealth of expertise and experience encompassing local market knowledge as well as operating on a national basis. Visit


INSURANCE FOR CARE The Changing Risk Landscape for Care Providers and its Impact on Insurance It is common knowledge that the coronavirus pandemic has brought huge challenges to the UK care sector. The increased demand for care across all sectors and the change to the way in which it is delivered means operators have had to become more flexible and responsive. This has only been possible by the hard work and dedication of those working within the industry. Significant change have been experienced across all sectors of the care industry, but it’s only the elderly care sector that has seen a change in the insurance landscape as a direct result of COVID-19. There have been increases in the premiums required by insurers for many insurance packages as potential risk increases and appetite for the sector diminishes. We have taken a look at the challenges facing providers of elderly care in the UK and why these increased risks have had such an effect on the insurance market.

THE SITUATION We know that at the beginning of the outbreak back in March, many companies operating care facilities were not included in vital government plans to provide suitable PPE, financial support and workforce planning. Many UK care homes in the elderly care sector struggled to control outbreaks within their facilities as COVID began to sweep across the country. By the very nature of the working conditions and relationships between patients, families and staff, it was easy for the virus to spread causing worry. PPE was a cause for concern; locating the right type and in the right quantities left many care providers without the right protection. Staffing has been challenging with vulnerable team members shielding, and isolating colleagues leaving a temporary gap in staff levels following a holiday or from exposure either inside or outside of the care home. But the biggest ongoing challenge facing elderly care home operators was and remains regular testing and speedy results. Testing is vital to stop the spread of infection and is the best weapon to keep it under control, until the approved vaccine programme is well underway. As restrictions change across the country on a regular basis, care providers have had to adapt and implement new ways of working. This constant change adds additional stress to the workforce and brings increased

potential for something to go wrong. All of the issues above will have been closely monitored by the insurer market as they weigh up the exposure to risk for care providers.

INCREASED POTENTIAL RISKS – A CONCERN FOR INSURERS Care facility proprietors will always put the care and wellbeing of their patients and residents at the heart of everything they do; reputations are built on the exceptional care that is delivered. We should remember that care home settings have always been open to potential risk. Claims can arise for a myriad of reasons, from a claim of medical malpractice to a claim under Employment Liability for an employee fall or injury, but COVID-19 has brought its own set of risks which have increased the potential for insurance claims.

adviser who specialises in insurance for the care sector has spoken to a number of A rated insurers to understand why there is a decreased appetite for the elderly care sector. Matthew said: “Whilst insurers haven’t actually seen an increase in claims so far, the apprehension appears to be around the potential for claims under Employment Liability cover for COVID-19. There is concern about the possible emergence of companies that may offer a ‘no win no fee’ for anyone who has contracted Covid whilst working in a care home, creating a claim culture. Should this scenario arise it could lead to significant reserves having to be put aside for potential claims. It sounds unlikely but this is exactly what happened with PPI only a few years ago. The reasons for claims are certainly very different but we could see the claim culture it invoked replicated for this pandemic.” Claims may arise from employees, residents or the families of either, if something should go wrong. This could be as the result of inadequate PPE or robust procedures to stop the spread of infection within a facility. The potential for claims is high, but without adequate cover in place care homes will be unable to operate. Matthew continued: “We are an independent broker and look across the insurer market to find the optimum insurance programme for our clients. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to place business, which is a problem for everyone. A number of insurers have pulled out of the elderly care market completely and those remaining have increased their premiums to accommodate for an anticipated rise in claims.”


Insurers have been watching the unfolding care sector situation closely as they decide on their response and how or rather if, they have an appetite for cover moving forward. Matthew Dale, from Barnes Commercial, an expert

Thankfully there are still some insurers who will provide insurance for the care sector and at affordable premiums. Packages are available for care homes in any setting, including elderly care, with a turnover of up to £5M and can be purchased via reputable brokers. Barnes Commercial offer a Business Essentials package which has been specifically created for the care home sector, and includes cover for management liability (Director’s and Officer’s insurance) which is quite hard to come by these days. Care homes can expect to see broader insurance packages returning as the pandemic abates and the approved vaccines are rolled out. Advice to care homes owners during these extraor-

dinary times to mitigate risk, is to ensure that you keep up to date with government and CQC guidelines. Create safeguarding practices, write them up and share with all members of your team so everyone knows the procedures to follow and how to manage a crisis effectively. If following an inspection any issues are raised, ensure an action is put in place and any remedial actions are taken immediately. Review and improve cleaning regimes to ensure they are robust and comply with government guidelines. Consider hiring the services of companies with specialist air purifying machines to help with air circulation and ventilation. Try to avoid using agency staff if possible because the change can be unsettling for elderly residents and there is more potential for the virus to be brought into your workplace. If you do use a care agency, make sure you carry out due diligence and check they have employment liability and medical malpractice insurance for their staff. If you employ new staff, ensure they are fully trained and put procedures in place to facilitate ongoing training for all employees. Make sure you carry out thorough background checks for new team members, or suppliers. In summary, it’s all about general good management and an ability to manage risk effectively. Take the time to look at all areas of your business and identify where you are open to risk, putting measure in place to allow business continuity should the unexpected occur. Barnes Commercial Insurance Broker is a specialist independent broker offering guidance and advice on managing risk within the care sector. For more information please visit their website at

Specialist care home insurance We arrange tailored insurance programmes for care and nursing homes, hospices and domiciliary care providers, for both staff and business owners. Our extensive knowledge of the care market will help to ensure you have the right protection in place for now and, for the future. Secure robust cover that’s right for your business.


Impartial advice from experienced advisers

Exceptional service from a dedicated account executive

Let us help you to protect your business with a no obligation risk review today!

Market-leading products from A rated insurers

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Guidance on risk management solutions including H&S and HR

01480 272727 /barnes-commercial

Barnes Commercial Insurance Broker is a trading style of Barnes Commercial Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FRN: 844370. Registered address: 3 Fenice Court, Phoenix Park, Eaton Socon, St Neots, Cambs, PE19 8EW. Registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 11909011.

Without QCS we wouldn’t have been rated as an ‘outstanding service’ Rupert Stocks Registered Manager, Guyatt House


'SQTP] [MXL VIKYPEXSV] WXERHEVHW +IX LIPT MR TVITEVMRK JSV inspections Ensure documents are compliant Daily updates, stay informed on GYVVIRX MWWYIW ERH RI[W

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